Tigran’s Travels: Saving the Rare Island Fox

Tigran Nahabedian, our first Buddy Bison Student Ambassador, recently took me on an incredible trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo to learn about and help save the rare Island Fox. Read about our adventure below:

“I first met the Channel Islands Fox when I was 5 years old, long before I met Buddy Bison. I took an Island Packers boat to Santa Cruz Island; that will always be a special trip for me because it was on that trip I earned my first Junior Ranger Badge. Very soon after we arrived I saw an Island Fox resting among some old farming machinery. I thought he was so small and really cute. The Island Fox is my favorite animal in the national parks.

The Channel Islands Fox live on six of the eight California Islands. The Island Fox is the only carnivore that occurs only in California and nowhere else. The Island Fox subspecies on the Northern Channel Islands are listed as endangered species; predation by the golden eagle and a virus from raccoons caused the population decline. On San Miguel and Santa Rosa Island there were only 15 foxes left on each in the year 2000. Multiple agencies have worked together and on February 12, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to delist the Island Fox. This is the fastest recovery of a mammal under the Endangered Species Act.

We were able to help the Island Fox by working at a booth at the Santa Barbara Zoo for Channel Islands Fox Awareness Day. I spoke to almost 500 people about the fox and most of the kids I spoke with will never visit the Channel Islands, so it’s important to connect with them at the zoo. Buddy Bison got to wear an Island Fox radio collar that helps track the animals (Now we can find out where Buddy has been so much easier!).”

Thank you Tigran! You can follow Tigran through social media on Twitter and Instagram (@jrRangerTigran). You can also follow my adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@NationalParkTrust).

Tigran and Buddy Bison Lead the Rose Parade!

Did you see a familiar face kicking off the annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day morning? Tigran Nahabedian, National Park Trust’s first student Buddy Bison Ambassador, was selected to participate in the opening float of the Rose Parade, and he brought me, Buddy Bison, along for the incredible experience! The theme of this year’s Rose Parade was Find Your Adventure and the Rose Parade partnered with the National Park Service to celebrate the NPS Centennial and #FindYourPark.

Tigran was also asked by Channel Islands National Park Ranger Dave Begun to help build a virtual float for the parade and of course he said YES! Can you find Buddy Bison on the float that was built by Tigran, his classmates, and teachers? Read Tigran’s narrative below:

I knew that Buddy and I couldn’t do it alone so I asked my school (Ojai Valley School) if they would help. My friend Mrs. Campbell has been my art teacher since I was a Pre-K student and she was happy to help. Many of the students at my school didn’t know much about the Channel Islands so I decided to introduce them to the Junior Ranger program. Ranger Lizzy came to my school to swear in 180 new Junior Rangers after we completed the Junior Ranger booklets. We each got one of the super cool new Centennial badges, which we put on the float. Previously, I had set a goal to help make all my classmates Junior Rangers, so I was super pleased to see every student at my school become a Junior Ranger! You should go to a National Park and get your own Centennial badge too!

We had so much fun building the float and learned so much about the park. The float depicts the adventures waiting for you at the Channel Islands and the natural beauty and resources on the islands and under the sea. The float highlights the partners and programs that help children bridge the Channel to the park including the National Park Trust and Kids to Parks Day. You can help bring under-served children to Channel Islands National Park by donating to the National Park Trust today at https://donate.parktrust.org

What a creative project! Thank you Tigran!

Tigran’s Travels: Where’s Buddy Bison Been?

Tigran Nahabedian, our Student Buddy Bison Ambassador, recently took me on an exciting trip with his family. Read about our nature-filled adventure below:

“Buddy Bison, my dad, my grandmother and I went to Black Canyon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the border of Arizona and Nevada. It was a canoe/camping trip so we had to put all of the camping gear in the canoes. Vans took us and 33 other paddlers from the Hoover Dam Lodge to our launch site below the Hoover Dam. We hauled our canoes into the water and paddled away! Buddy Bison got to swim in 52 degree water! We also had water gun battles! Buddy Bison and I went in caves, jumped into the chilly water, saw lots of birds, and bighorn sheep. My favorite birds were the roadrunners and the blue heron. It took us three days to paddle to Willow Beach. At Willow Beach we unloaded and we went back to the Lodge. Overall, it was an amazing trip! I also read a very funny book before the trip called Hey Ranger and some of the stories took place at Willow Beach and in the Black Canyon.”

You can follow Tigran’s park adventures through social media on Twitter and Instagram (@jrRangerTigran). You can also follow my adventures on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (@NationalParkTrust). Use the hashtags #BuddyBison or #WheresBuddyBisonBeen on your park travels.

Tigran’s Travels: Where’s Buddy Bison Been?

Tigran Nahabedian, our first Student Buddy Bison Ambassador, has some pretty exciting news to share. Do you remember when I celebrated the launch of President Barack Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative with fourth graders last month? Well Tigran has been selected to represent Every Kid in a Park and will appear in both the Scholastic Instructor and Administrator Magazines. Tigran continues to inspire students around the country to appreciate and protect our parks.

You can follow Tigran’s park adventures through social media on Twitter and Instagram (@jrRangerTigran). You can also follow my adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NationalParkTrust). Use the hashtags #BuddyBison or #WheresBuddyBisonBeen on your park travels.

Tigran’s Travels: Where’s Buddy Bison Been?

Tigran Nahabedian, our first Student Buddy Bison Ambassador, is back with another amazing story to share. Read about his recent trip to Yosemite National Park below:

“Buddy Bison and I went on a vacation to Yosemite National Park. It was a really special trip for me because I have wanted to visit Yosemite for a long time. The first time we couldn’t go because of fires and the second time because I was invited to go to the White House garden planting with First Lady Michelle Obama. Yosemite exceeded my expectations. I camped Bridalvail Creek and Wawona – both were beautiful with lots of trees.

I hiked waterfalls, climbed over rocks, slid down rocks (and ruined my pants), went on a bear walk with Ranger Jill (but didn’t see any bears), hiked to a mountain lake and saw how early pioneers lived in the Sierras. The highlights of the trip were free climbing El Capitan with Buddy – although we weren’t even close to summiting – and hiking the Mist Trail. At the waterfall on the Mist Trail we took a picture with Buddy and it looked like rainbows were shooting from his ears. At the Pioneer History Center, I watched a blacksmith shape a leaf out of steel. It is amazing how many steps it takes to make a beautiful tiny leaf.”

What a fantastic camping trip Tigran! Follow Tigran’s park adventures through social media on Twitter and Instagram (@jrRangerTigran). You can also follow Buddy Bison’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NationalParkTrust). Remember to use the hashtags #BuddyBison or #WheresBuddyBisonBeen on your park travels.