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RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 9) – With urban development exploding, wildlife habitat is becoming a scarce commodity. Like humans, animals need good habitat to live, gather food and raise their young.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s “Habitat Is Where It’s At” exhibit at the 2007 State Fair provides visitors with information on what they can do to help conserve wildlife habitat, while offering them a close-up view of some of the priority species identified in the state’s Wildlife Action Plan.

Stroll down the universally accessible boardwalk to see an otter splashing playfully in the marsh, a peregrine falcon swooping in to grasp dinner with its talons and frogs calling to potential mates. These mounts and many more are scattered throughout re-creations of three North Carolina habitats — the cool, moist spruce fir forests found in the mountains; the fire-resistant longleaf pine savannah of the Piedmont; and the marshes, dunes and sandy beaches of the Coastal Region.

Two 150-gallon aquaria showcase the many different aquatic animals that call the Tar River home, including the Roanoke bass, bluehead chub, Eastern elliptio and swallowtail shiner.

New for this year is the “Test Your Wildlife Knowledge” game for kids 12 and younger. Participants who identify six animals correctly will receive an official “Junior Wildlife Biologist” certificate, courtesy of the Wildlife Resources Commission.

In keeping with this year’s theme, the wildlife button — a free, traditional state fair keepsake — features the robust redhorse, a fish that has declined in numbers and range due to habitat degradation.

Commission biologists, educators and administrative staff will answer questions, provide literature and staff the N.C. WILD Store, where visitors can purchase the newly arrived “Frogs and Toads of North Carolina” book with audio call CD, pick up a free copy of the award-winning Wildlife in North Carolina magazine or buy a wildlife calendar.

Wildlife officers from the Enforcement Division are staffing their free air rifle range where visitors can learn more about firearms safety from trained professionals. They also will staff the Sensory Safari, a hands-on exhibit of pelts, taxidermy specimens and animal bones.
More Information

The state fair will open Oct. 12-21. Fairground gates will be open from 8 a.m. until midnight daily, but the Commission’s tent, which is located downhill from the Holshouser Building, will be open to the public 10 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.

The fairgrounds are located at 1025 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. State fair staff can be contacted at (919) 821-7400. General information can be obtained from the N.C. State Fair Web site, Untitled Document.
 
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