We are thrilled to announce that our website displaying scrapbooks compiled by William T. Hornaday, covering his various wildlife conservation campaigns, is now live! Made possible through the generous funding of the Leon Levy Foundation, the project has been the subject of a few WILD THINGS posts over the past few months, and we are pleased to be able to share the finished product with you now. You’ll find the site here.
These scrapbooks are part of a series of scrapbooks Hornaday compiled to chronicle the several wildlife protection campaigns he spearheaded. For nearly three decades, during much of which he also served as first Director of the Bronx Zoo, Hornaday led fundraising and lobbying efforts to protect North American wildlife. He wrote countless press releases and letters to editors, and his work received national press attention. He went on national speaking tours, corresponded with state and national leaders (including three presidents), and cultivated support from wealthy philanthropists for his Permanent Wild Life Protection Fund, which he used to finance his campaigns.
Seeking to engage both the public and lawmakers, he took on various causes: the formation of a protected game preserve in British Columbia, an (unsuccessful) attempt to create wildlife preserves in federal forests in the American West, the development of a herd for the Montana National Bison Range, and, most prominently, legislation to regulate the overhunting of wildlife, from the fur seals of the Pribilof Islands and the sage grouse of the Iowa plains to the continent’s migratory birds.
We hope you enjoy spending some time exploring these rich historical treasures and following the notoriously fiery Hornaday as he annotates his way (replete with exclamation points and underlines) through his history of his fight for wildlife.