As part of Zoo Miami’s commitment to support the study and conservation of wildlife in the natural areas where it is found, and in conjunction with the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment at the Zoo Miami Foundation, Audubon Florida’s Everglades Science Center was gifted a new van to aid in their research and conservation work in Florida Bay and the Everglades.
Located in Tavernier, the Everglades Science Center is the base for a dedicated group of scientists led by Audubon Florida’s Director of Research, Dr. Jerry Lorenz. The team studies a wide variety of subjects ranging from the health of Florida Bay’s sea grass to the nesting behaviors of roseate spoonbills. By better understanding the correlation between climate change, water levels, fish populations, etc., the center provides valuable information that assists in mitigating environmental challenges to help monitor the health of Florida Bay and the many species of wildlife that depend on it.
The Ron Magill Conservation Endowment at the Zoo Miami Foundation was established by Zoo Miami Goodwill Ambassador, Ron Magill, as part of his commitment to support conservation efforts in the wild places where the animals the zoo chooses to exhibit, naturally occur. “I did not come to work at the zoo to simply work for an attraction with animals” he said. “It has always been my priority to protect animals in the wild. If zoos become the last place where we can see wild animals, then zoos as institutions have failed in what their primary focus should be – helping to ensure that the species we choose to exhibit can continue to survive in the wild areas where they are naturally found. I created the endowment as a restricted source of funding that can only be used to support conservation efforts in the wild as well as scholarships for those who have dedicated themselves to a career in wildlife conservation. The purchase of this van for Audubon Florida through the endowment is part of that commitment to support the conservationists who are doing the important boots on the ground work to help save our priceless natural treasures.”
“This van will be a valuable tool in our efforts to study and protect Florida Bay and the wildlife that calls it home” said Dr. Lorenz. “Being able to efficiently transport our team and equipment in a dependable and comfortable vehicle, to the variety of locations where we are doing our research, allows us to better focus on our actual work as opposed to worrying about how we are going to get there to do it. In addition, having it beautifully wrapped, helps to make the public aware of our efforts and our presence to hopefully inspire further support.”
The Bean Automotive Group generously partnered with Ron Magill and the Zoo Miami Foundation to secure the van at a discounted price while covering all the expenses associated with the design and installation of the wrapping. This is the second time that the Bean Automotive Group has been instrumental in providing a vehicle to help protect South Florida wildlife. Earlier this year, they donated a new Toyota Tundra to Wildlife Rescue of Dade County to aid in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of hundreds of native animals annually. “The Bean Automotive Group is committed to helping protect wildlife and is proud to serve as the automotive partner to the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment” said Lori Bean, Principal/Owner. “As an animal lover myself, I understand the importance of protecting wildlife for future generations and we are happy to play a small part in that effort.”