Monthly Archives: June 2014

Fighting (and Fanaticism) for Fur Seals

fish7848 Henry W. Elliott, William T. Hornaday, and John Hay spent nearly a decade attempting to save the staggering decimation of the Alaskan fur seals from their mating grounds on the Pribilof Islands. The islands were first discovered by Europeans in 1786 and soon after became part of the Russian Territories. In 1867, they became property of the United States and were later leased to the Alaska Commercial Company, who held the monopoly on seal hunting and pelt trading. The islands were highly sought by hunters for their fur seal rookeries, large areas where thousands of seals gathered to mate, raise their young, and fish.  Continue reading

Working in the Wild

4041-1976-Bryceson-Conway-thumbnail.jpgIn the 1970s, the New York Zoological Society [NYZS] increased its efforts in international conservation, sponsoring external researchers and conservationists with projects that furthered the NYZS mission of protecting wildlife and wild places.  NYZS-sponsored researchers conducted field work in countries far from home, often for several months at a time.  Reporting back to the Society, they shared exciting scientific findings or provided updates on conservation efforts in regions including East Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia.  But amid the progress reports and publications full of data from the field, the correspondence from field researchers gives a sense of the physical and logistical difficulties of conducting international research.  Continue reading