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World Wetlands Day at Wildlife Park 18 January 2005

The Curraghs Wildlife Park is celebrating World Wetlands Day early. The international event, promoted by the bureau of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, is held each year on the 2nd February, the anniversary of the first signing of the Convention. Since the Wildlife Park will be closed on that day for winter hours, the event will instead be celebrated on January 30th.

Starting at 11am, there will be an illustrated talk on the importance of wetlands, to people and wildlife, at home and abroad, and an introduction to the work of the Wildlife Park breeding endangered species of wetland wildlife. Following a break for lunch, this will be followed by a walk through the Ballaugh Curraghs guided by John Dog Callister, a local Manxman with a deep interest in and extensive knowledge of the Ballaugh Curraghs.

The Ballaugh Curraghs are the Isle of Man's premier wildlife conservation site and probably qualify for listing under the Ramsar Convention criteria. The largest winter hen harrier roost in western Europe is found in the Curraghs, along with many rare and beautiful wild flowers.

General Manager of the Wildlife Park, Mr Nick Pinder, commented:

"The Wildlife Park has always been conscious of its location next door to such an important wildlife resource and we're really pleased that this first event in our 40th Anniversary programme of events will show off this fascinating place to visitors."

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