Wildlife Conservation Society
Overview
 
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) based at the Bronx Zoo was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society (NYZS) and currently manages some 200 million acres (809,372 km²) of wild places around the world, with over 500 field conservation projects in 60 countries, and 200 scientists on staff. It also runs five facilities in New York City: the Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx borough of New York City, within Bronx Park. It is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising of park lands and naturalistic habitats, through which the Bronx River flows....

, Central Park Zoo
Central Park Zoo
The Central Park Zoo is a small zoo located in Central Park in New York City. It is part of an integrated system of four zoos and the New York Aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society , and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums .The zoo began in the 1860s as a...

, New York Aquarium
New York Aquarium
The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States, having opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park, Manhattan in 1896. Since 1957, it has been located on the boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The aquarium is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society as...

, Prospect Park Zoo
Prospect Park Zoo
The Prospect Park Zoo is a zoo located off Flatbush Avenue on the eastern side of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City. Its precursor, the Menagerie, opened in 1890. The present facility first opened as a city zoo on July 3, 1935 and was part of a larger revitalization program of city parks,...

 and Queens Zoo
Queens Zoo
The Queens Zoo is a zoo located in the New York City borough of Queens, located in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park. The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and...

 which together welcome over 4 million visitors per year.
Encyclopedia
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) based at the Bronx Zoo was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society (NYZS) and currently manages some 200 million acres (809,372 km²) of wild places around the world, with over 500 field conservation projects in 60 countries, and 200 scientists on staff. It also runs five facilities in New York City: the Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx borough of New York City, within Bronx Park. It is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising of park lands and naturalistic habitats, through which the Bronx River flows....

, Central Park Zoo
Central Park Zoo
The Central Park Zoo is a small zoo located in Central Park in New York City. It is part of an integrated system of four zoos and the New York Aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society , and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums .The zoo began in the 1860s as a...

, New York Aquarium
New York Aquarium
The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States, having opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park, Manhattan in 1896. Since 1957, it has been located on the boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The aquarium is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society as...

, Prospect Park Zoo
Prospect Park Zoo
The Prospect Park Zoo is a zoo located off Flatbush Avenue on the eastern side of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City. Its precursor, the Menagerie, opened in 1890. The present facility first opened as a city zoo on July 3, 1935 and was part of a larger revitalization program of city parks,...

 and Queens Zoo
Queens Zoo
The Queens Zoo is a zoo located in the New York City borough of Queens, located in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park. The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and...

 which together welcome over 4 million visitors per year. All of its New York City, USA facilities are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums was founded in 1924 and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and public aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation.The AZA headquarters is located in Silver...

 (AZA).

Mission

The stated mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society is:

History

The Wildlife Conservation Society was originally chartered by New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 on April 26, 1895 as the New York Zoological Society with a mandate to advance wildlife conservation
Wildlife conservation
Wildlife conservation is the preservation, protection, or restoration of wildlife and their environment, especially in relation to endangered and vulnerable species. All living non-domesticated animals, even if bred, hatched or born in captivity, are considered wild animals. Wildlife represents all...

, promote the study of zoology
Zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

, and create a first-class zoological park. Its name was changed to the Wildlife Conservation Society in 1993.

Among the founders of WCS were Andrew H. Green
Andrew Haswell Green
Andrew Haswell Green was a New York lawyer, city planner, civic leader and agitator for reform. Called by some historians a hundred years later "the 19th century Robert Moses," he held several offices and played important roles in many projects, including Riverside Drive, Morningside Park, Fort...

, best known as the father of greater New York City, and Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr. ForMemRS was an American geologist, paleontologist, and eugenicist.-Early life and career:...

, Columbia University professor and curator of the American Museum of Natural History. Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 and other notable New Yorkers were also involved in the Society's creation.

The Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx borough of New York City, within Bronx Park. It is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising of park lands and naturalistic habitats, through which the Bronx River flows....

 (formerly the “New York Zoological Park”) was designed along the lines of other cultural icons in New York City, such as the American Museum of Natural History. The city provided the land for the new zoo and some funding for buildings and annual operating costs. WCS raised most of the funds for construction and operations from private donors, and selected the scientific and administrative personnel.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the WCS took a leadership role in pioneering zoological exhibitions by seeking to recreate natural environments for the animals on display. Under the leadership of WCS director William G. Conway, the Bronx Zoo opened its World of Darkness for nocturnal species in 1969 and its World of Birds for avian displays in 1974.

Eventually New York City turned to WCS to renew and manage three city-run facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The redesigned Central Park Zoo
Central Park Zoo
The Central Park Zoo is a small zoo located in Central Park in New York City. It is part of an integrated system of four zoos and the New York Aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society , and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums .The zoo began in the 1860s as a...

 opened in 1988, followed by the Queens Zoo
Queens Zoo
The Queens Zoo is a zoo located in the New York City borough of Queens, located in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park. The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and...

 in 1992 and the Prospect Park Zoo
Prospect Park Zoo
The Prospect Park Zoo is a zoo located off Flatbush Avenue on the eastern side of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City. Its precursor, the Menagerie, opened in 1890. The present facility first opened as a city zoo on July 3, 1935 and was part of a larger revitalization program of city parks,...

 in 1993. From 1994 through 1996 Archie Carr III
Archie Carr III
Archie Carr III, PhD., is an American biologist instrumental in establishing the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in the nation of Belize. Carr worked closely with American biologist Alan Rabinowitz in convincing the government of Belize of the importance of that land area to the survival of the...

 of WCS helped establish the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature reserve in south-central Belize established to protect the forests, fauna and watersheds of an approximately 400 square kilometre area of the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains...

 in Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

, a reserve for endangered jaguar
Jaguar
The jaguar is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar's present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico...

.

Work on conservation of wildlife and wild places

In the late nineteenth century William Temple Hornaday
William Temple Hornaday
William Temple Hornaday, Sc.D. was an American zoologist, realtor, conservationist, author, poet and songwriter...

, then director of the New York Zoological Park (now the Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx borough of New York City, within Bronx Park. It is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising of park lands and naturalistic habitats, through which the Bronx River flows....

), carried out a direct-mail survey of wildlife conditions through the United States, and publicized the decline of birds and mammals in the organization's annual reports. In 1897 Hornaday also hired field researcher Andrew J. Stone to survey the condition of wildlife in the territory of Alaska. On the basis of these studies, Hornaday led the campaign for new laws to protect the wildlife there and the United States as a whole.

Starting in 1905, Hornaday led a national campaign to reintroduce the almost extinct bison to government sponsored refuges. The Bronx Zoo sent 15 bison to Wichita Reserve in 1907 and additional bison in later years. The saving of this uniquely American symbol is one of the great success stories in the history of wildlife conservation. Hornaday campaigned for wildlife protection throughout his thirty years as director of the Bronx Zoo.

William Beebe
William Beebe
William Beebe, born Charles William Beebe was an American naturalist, ornithologist, marine biologist, entomologist, explorer, and author...

, the first curator of birds at the Bronx Zoo, began a program of field research soon after the Bronx Zoo opened. His research on wild pheasants took him to Asia from 1908 to 1911 and resulted in a series of books on pheasants. Beebe's field work also resulted in the creation of the Society’s Department of Tropical Research, which Beebe directed from 1922 until his retirement in 1948.

Beebe’s research in an undersea vessel called the bathysphere took him half a mile under the ocean floor off Bermuda in 1934 to record for the first time human observations of the bottom of the deep sea. The bathysphere is currently displayed at the New York Aquarium
New York Aquarium
The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States, having opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park, Manhattan in 1896. Since 1957, it has been located on the boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The aquarium is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society as...

.

After World War II, under the leadership of Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr
Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. , son of the American geologist Henry Fairfield Osborn and cousin of Frederick Osborn, was a conservationist. He was long time president of the New York Zoological Society.-Biography:...

, a best selling writer on conservation and son of WCS founder Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr. ForMemRS was an American geologist, paleontologist, and eugenicist.-Early life and career:...

, the organization extended its programs in field biology and conservation. In 1946 WCS helped found the Jackson Hole Wildlife Park, which became part of Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park located in northwestern Wyoming, U.S. The Park consists of approximately and includes the major peaks of the long Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. Only south of Yellowstone...

 in 1962.

In the late 1950s WCS began a series of wildlife surveys and projects in Kenya, Tanganyika (now Tanzania), Uganda, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, Sudan, Burma, and the Malay peninsula. In 1959 it sponsored George Schaller
George Schaller
George Beals Schaller is an American mammalogist, naturalist, conservationist and author. Schaller is recognized by many as the world's preeminent field biologist, studying wildlife throughout Africa, Asia and South America. Born in Berlin, Schaller grew up in Germany, but moved to Missouri as a...

’s seminal study of mountain gorillas in Congo. Since that expedition, Schaller has gone on to become the world's preeminent field biologist, studying wildlife throughout Africa, Asia and South America.

Conservation activities continued to expand under the leadership of William Conway, who became director of the Bronx Zoo in 1962 and President of WCS in 1992. Active as a field biologist in Patagonia, Conway promoted a new vision of zoos as conservation organizations, which cooperated in breeding endangered species. He also designed new types of zoo exhibits aimed at teaching visitors about habitats that support wildlife, and encouraged the expansion of WCS's field programs.

Today

Today the WCS is at work on some 500 projects in 60 nations around the world that are intended to help protect both the wild life and the wild places in which they live. It has given support to the Forests Now Declaration
Forests Now Declaration
The Forests Now Declaration is a declaration that advocates using carbon credits to protect tropical forests. The Declaration was created by the Global Canopy Programme, and has been signed by over 200 NGOs, business leaders, scientists and conservationists...

, which calls for new market based mechanisms to protect tropical forests.

The Wilderness Conservation Society is working in conjunction with the Lava Lake Institute for Science and Conservation
Lava Lake Institute for Science and Conservation
The Lava Lake Institute for Science and Conservation is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to increase scientific knowledge and advance conservation in the Pioneer Mountains and Craters of the Moon National Monument region of south-central Idaho...

 to document the movement of pronghorn
Pronghorn
The pronghorn is a species of artiodactyl mammal endemic to interior western and central North America. Though not an antelope, it is often known colloquially in North America as the prong buck, pronghorn antelope, or simply antelope, as it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World and...

 through the Craters of the Moon/Pioneer Mountain region of central Idaho. In two years of study they have found that pronghorn move up to 150 miles from their summer ground to their winter range, meeting up with herds from Montana and eastern Idaho.A Narrow Path for Pronghorns

Mannahatta Project

The Mannahatta Project is a project by the WCS to reconstruct and map how Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 looked in 1609 when Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay via a route above the Arctic Circle...

 discovered the island. Elements being mapped include where the streams flowed and where each species of tree grew. The Lenni Lenape people who lived there called the island Mannahatta, or "land of many hills." The project highlights the ways that development has altered the natural ecosystems.

Criticism

In Malaysia/Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

 the WCS has been working hand in hand with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation, the Sarawak Forest Department, and the Samling Corporation since 1984 to certify timber for the European market. Although timber certification is intended to promote and encourage sustainable forest management and provides an assurance to buyers that the timber products come from sustainably managed forests, Samling is considered overly aggressive by some.

In June 2011, the head of India's Wildlife Conservation Society was fired for being part of a government committee that backed tribal rights over forest lands under the Forest Rights Act. Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh
Jairam Ramesh
Jairam Ramesh born April 9, 1954, is an Indian economist and an influential politician of the Congress Party in the United Progressive Alliance ruling coalition of center-left political parties heading the Government of India. He is a Member of Parliament representing Andhra Pradesh state in the...

, reacting to the WCS move to throw out Chellam said, "It is sad that he was penalised for being pro-tribal and pro-people. It shows how anti-democratic some of the self-styled champions of transparency really are."

See also

  • Wildlife Conservation International
    Wildlife Conservation International
    Wildlife Conservation International is a field division of the Wildlife Conservation Society. It is based in Bronx, New York.The organization is mainly present in Africa and Asia as well as North and South America...

  • 21st Century Tiger
    21st Century Tiger
    21st Century Tiger raises funds for wild tiger conservation projects. It was formed in 1997 as a partnership between the Zoological Society of London , and Tusk Force so that the three groups could collaborate, rather than compete, in raising money for tigers in the UK...

  • Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance
    Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance
    The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance is an initiative led by Conservation International, CARE, The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance, and the Wildlife Conservation Society to promote the development of land management activities that simultaneously deliver significant benefits for...

  • Last of the Wild
    Last of the Wild
    Last of the Wild is an initiative created in 2002 on behalf of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University to identify the last remaining 'wild' areas on the earth's land surface, measured by human influence...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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