Some say they are creepy, others say they are wonderful

This picture shows someone holding a harmless desert millipede.

Everyone of us living on the planet needs biodiversity and ecosystem services to function. Biodiversity provides the world’s supply of oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, pest control, wastewater treatment and many other ecosystem services. As a result we need to be informed and inspired to protect wild places and biodiversity. Our animals at the Zoo are conservation ambassadors for biodiversity around the world. They remind us that we share the planet with them and if the world becomes a unsafe place for wildlife, it will no doubt be an unsafe place for humans.

At the Zoo many of our animals and plants come from far away places like Asia and Africa. We also have animals and plants from the Chihuahuan Desert and our own backyard. For years the Zoo has encouraged our guests to continue their adventure after they visit the Zoo by exploring the natural world around us in local national parks and nature reserves.

Unfortunately for the health of our planet and functioning ecosystems, the tiny creatures including insects, spiders and animals like snakes get a lot of bad publicity no thanks to some motion pictures and other forms of media. Insects for example are extremely critical to helping to pollinate plants that are important to our food supply and in helping to keep the web of life sustainable.

Education Specialist Sarah Murphy recently presented a program entitled Creepy Crawlies of the Chihuahuan Desert at the Chihuahuan Desert Virtual Fiesta in September. Take some time to listen to Sarah share some very interesting information on these animals by watching her recorded program here.

This picture from a video on YouTube shows a prickly-pear cactus growing in the Chihuahuan Desert. Watch more Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta videos here.

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