KINGMAN - While bighorn sheep, elk, pronghorn, deer, bear, and mountain lions often capture the headlines, rabbits, rodents, hares, and shrews all carry their weight in the desert ecosystem.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department's Summer Wildlife Series continues with Small Mammals of the Desert on Friday (July 27) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Kingman Mohave County Library located at 3269 Burbank.
Sponsored by the Brenden Kingman Cinemas and the Mohave County Library, the series involves two presentations a month through August.
"I chose this topic because I feel like small mammals are an underappreciated group of wildlife," said John Kraft, the nongame specialist with the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman. "They are, by far, the most common mammals on the planet, but many people view them as 'rats,' carriers of disease, and a pest to mankind."
The series is open and free to the public, although seating capacity is limited to 52 and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Many of these animals are important to the ecosystem," Kraft added. "They serve an important role, not the least of which is serving as a food source for other animals."
Zen Mocarski, information and education program manager for the Game and Fish Region 3 office, said attendance at the series has been slipping and he hopes to see a rebound for the last three presentations of the year.
"We have small mammals, deer, and research and wildlife left on the schedule," he said. "However, because of the time that goes into doing this series, if we don't see attendance pick up we'll have to re-evaluate whether to continue the series next year."
The library and Game and Fish office have schedule cards available. Series information can also be found on the Region 3 Facebook site at www.facebook.com/kingman.azgfd.
For more information, contact Mocarski at (928) 692-7700, Ext. 2301.