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Where to go to spot wildlife on the move

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Mass migration in the animal kingdom is truly a modern day spectacle

It’s spring, and the animals of the world are in motion again—flying, swimming, running and crawling to their summer homes and breeding grounds.

But what’s out there? Where – and when – should people head outside to spot them? The Nature Conservancy polled its scientists from New York to California and found the top “must see” migrations in more than 30 states. The Conservancy’s lead scientist, M. Sanjayan, weighed in with his own list of the top 10 migrating animals to see this season.

“Mass migration in the animal kingdom is truly a modern day spectacle,” explained Sanjayan. “It’s also an issue critical to conservation. It teaches us that it is not enough to just protect them in your backyard, but all along their journey.”

To view the list, and to find the best spots to watch wildlife on the move near you, visit http://www.nature.org/migration.

Besides the fun of seeing whales, songbirds, salamanders and turtles, there’s an added benefit to bringing your family along.

Soon, millions of school-age children will wrap-up their daily classroom routines. Many will spend those first days of summer “plugged in” – attached to their cell phones, TVs, computers, iPods and Xboxes – instead of outside. In fact, a January study by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that kids 8-18 are spending 7.5 hours each day in front a TV, iPhone, video game or computer. And because they’re often multi-tasking (like texting a friend while watching TV) the study revealed they are actually cramming 11 hours worth of media into their day.

“Getting kids outside – early and often – is the key to establishing that lifelong connection to nature,” said Brigitte Griswold, director of youth programs for The Nature Conservancy in New York. “The bottom line is that kids need nature. There’s a continuing body of research that shows children who are exposed to nature are happier, healthier and smarter as a result.”

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have helped protect 130 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at http://www.nature.org/.

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Kerry Crisley
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