Category Archives: On This Day

100 Years of Field Research at WCS

Theodore Roosevelt and his wife Edith were the first visitors to Kalacoon. Beebe is seated at the far end of the table, Mrs Roosevelt is seated nearest the camera and President Roosevelt is next to her. WCS Photo Collection

Why?  According to William Beebe, why was “the question which makes all science worthwhile.” Why, for instance, do tinamous of the genus Tinamus have rough skin on their lower legs while tinamous of the genus Crypturus have smooth skin?  Why do hoatzin populations seem to gather in nodes rather than being found throughout tropical forests?

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A Jungle in the Bronx

1028-Exhibits-JW-19850621-ProgramThirty years ago today, the Bronx Zoo’s JungleWorld exhibit opened to the public.  Posed in the 1985 NYZS Annual Report as an “experiment” that built upon decades of innovations in zoogeographic exhibition, JungleWorld sought to break new ground in wild animal care and exhibition, and it was widely considered the most ambitious indoor zoological environment ever created at the time.  Continue reading

Happy 50th to the (New) Aquatic Birds House!

Aquatic Birds House floor plan. WCS Photo Collection

This week on Wild Things, we’re celebrating a big Bronx Zoo milestone: the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the new Aquatic Birds House. On September 24, 1964, New York Zoological Society members flocked (sorry! had to do it!) to a preview of the new exhibit, which featured herons and spoonbills, rails and stilts, flamingos and ibises, storks and jacanas, avocets and hammerheads, stints and plovers, terns and cormorants, and other birds dependent on wetlands. Continue reading

Forty-four years of Earth Day at the Wildlife Conservation Society

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In early 1970, the United States’ new environmentalist movement conceived of the first-ever Earth Day, a day of action and awareness.  New York City celebrated with an all-day rally at Union Square Park.  Exhibitors at Union Square included groups focused on air, water, and noise pollution; urban public health issues such as pest control and lead poisoning; the conservation of wildlife and wild places; nuclear power, peace, and disarmament; population and food issues; and several other environmental and civic causes.  (List of exhibitors , April 1970. William G. Conway records, circa 1900-2004 (bulk 1960-2003). Collection 1028.)  Continue reading

Birth of an Institution

2016-BZ-Events-1899-OpeningProgram-011-ThumbWhile we have high hopes for this little blog, we’re not talking about its birth here. Instead, we’re celebrating the 114th birthday of the Bronx Zoo, which opened on November 8, 1899.

Actually, the Bronx Zoo, formally known as the New York Zoological Park, was slated to open July 15, 1899. But heavy snowstorms the previous winter halted construction on the park for nearly four months. Indeed, by July 15, there was still much work to be done, as a To Do list held in the WCS Archives shows. From “Plan new water and sewers” to “Order birds and reptiles, generally,” a flurry of activities was underway. Continue reading