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Family Fun Day with Wildlife Biologist Dr. Ivana Mali

Family Fun Day with Wildlife Biologist Dr. Ivana Mali photo 8/25/2015 1:22:42 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.  


Living creatures from the prairie grasslands and desert will be on display at the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, for its Family Fun Day, Saturday, August 29.  The event is in conjunction with the current exhibition at the museum, “Great Plains: America’s Lingering Wild, Photographs by Michael Forsberg”.

Dr. Ivana Mali, wildlife biologist from Eastern New Mexico University, will bring both living animals and specimens (not living), as she discusses wildlife ecology and management in the desert and prairie grasslands. Dr. Mali is a leading expert in studying vertebrate communities - primarily small mammals, birds, and the reptiles and amphibians of a particular region.  Her presentations will be at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

“We are very excited that Dr. Mali will be our guest speaker Saturday,” says Mary Lyle, education director for the museum. “Dr. Mali is an excellent source for understanding the ecology and conservation of the Great Plains area. Families will have a much greater appreciation of life on the plains and the desert, and why it’s so important we help to protect the lands.”

Other activities for Family Fun Day include arts and crafts for the children, and showing the movie “The Great Plains: America’s Lingering Wild”, which will be shown at 2:00 p.m.  Visitors will also have free admission to see the stunning photographs in the exhibit, to enhance their understanding of wildlife in the Great Plains.

Family Fun Day is free and begins at 10:00 a.m.

For more information: Mary Lyle, director of education at or 575-492- 2679.

The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame is located on the campus of New Mexico Junior College.


About Dr. Ivana Mali

Dr. Mali obtained a B.Sc. in Biology from Henderson State University, a M.Sc. in Wildlife Ecology from Texas State University-San Marcos, and a Ph.D. in Aquatic Resources from Texas State University. She is currently a Wildlife Biologist/Assistant Professor at Eastern New Mexico University. Broadly, Dr. Mali’s research interest is wildlife ecology and management. She is interested in studying vertebrate communities (primarily small mammals, birds, and herpetofauna) in desert and prairie grasslands, and using museum collections to understand patterns of species distributions. Her previous research has focused mainly on freshwater turtle conservation, management, and ecology. Her research topics have included reproductive ecology, testing field sampling biases, movement ecology, and developing new techniques to monitor movement. She also contributed more broadly to global issues by evaluating freshwater turtle sustainability under anthropogenic pressures such as road density, harvest, and efficacy of management regimes. She has worked extensively in Texas using passive sampling techniques such as hoopnet traps or pitfall traps and active sampling techniques such as active searches or night surveys. She also served as an Endangered Species Compliance Expert for the Houston toad (Bufo houstonensis) and Jollyville Plateau Salamander (Eurycea tonkawae) in collaboration with the relevant agencies, including US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD), Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), and Bastrop and Williamson counties.

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