Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society was formed in 1895. During its formation, it was called the New York Zoological Society. The society manages around 200 million acres of protected land and has over 500 conservation projects across 60 countries. There are 5 facilities in New York that are run by the Wildlife Conservation Society and these include the Bronx Zoo, the Central Park Zoo, the New York Aquarium, the Prospect Zoo and the Queens Zoo.
Some of the animals and creatures that the society protects include gorillas in the Congo, wolverines in the Yellowstone Rockies and tigers in India. Some of the issues that affect wild spaces and wildlife that the Wildlife Conservation Society is concerned with are climate and climate changes, natural resource exploitation, the relationship between wildlife and human health and the sustainable development of human livelihood.
One extremely talked about project that the society has taken up is the Manhattan project. This is a project in which the Wildlife Conservation Society has taken it upon itself to create a map of the way in which Manhattan looked like when it was discovered in 1609 by Henry Hudson. The mapping is supposed to cover the streams that flowed through the island, the species of trees that grew, the animals that were found in the surrounding areas and more. The project also aims at looking at the manner in which development has changed the ecosystem of what was once called the "land of many hills".
The tiger project realizes that the tiger is an endangered species as there are only about 3000 tigers that live in the wild today. The biggest threat to their lives is poaching and destruction of the habitat that they are can survive and thrive in. Wildlife Conservation Society is dedicated to save the 1000 remaining female tigresses that are breeding. They work in 9 countries across Asia to ensure that there is adequate prey available for them and that the habitat that they thrive in is not destroyed.
The Wildlife Conservation Society's mission is to save wildlife and wild places around the world. The organization accomplishes its missions through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people envision wildlife and humans living in harmony. Wildlife Conservation Society is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
The work of the Wildlife Conservation Society cannot be claimed to be limited to providing good habitat to the animal species that are lingering and at the extreme end of the ecological balance. They take pride in going beyond that and educate people with regards to the manner in which their actions devastate the world that the wild animals live in. Education and training about green living and a change in attitude towards wildlife is the sought after goal.
It looks at the great migrations that are taking place in the wildlife areas of the world in order to understand that causes of the movement. It is currently involved with a large number of projects that are aimed at saving bears, big cats, birds, apes, hippos and elephants, hoofed mammals, ocean giants and other carnivores across the world.
The Society also gets involved with saving the wild places that exist in order to ensure that the ecological balance is not tipped. This work is also spread across the various continents including Asia, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, North America and the Ocean too.
One of the conservation challenges that the organization faces include human livelihood since this comes up as an issue in many places when the society talks about conservation to the locals. There is also the issue of the manner in which natural resources are used by the humans living around wildlife areas. Climatic changes and wildlife health is another aspect that they fight with in their pursuit to provide a good clean environment to the wild animals.
Originally chartered in April 1895, the Wildlife Conservation Society was originally conceived as the New York Zoological Society. The mandate of the society was to increase and provide better means of wildlife conservation. It was also intended for the society to study zoology and create a great park for the various animals that needed to be conserved. The name of this organization was changed to the Wildlife Conservation Society in 1993.
The Wildlife Conservation Society was founded by Andrew H. Green (known as the father of greater New York City) and Henry Fairfield Osborn. The formation of the society was also supported by Theodore Roosevelt and other renowned people of New York.
The New York Zoological Park (what we know as the Bronx Zoo now) was created in a manner that was similar to the other cultural iconic places in the city. The land for the zoo was provided by the city and the building costs were borne by the city too. Cost for the construction and operations were sourced from private donors.
Post the 1960's the Wildlife Conservation Society started the process of creating natural environments for the animals on display. The "World of Darkness" was the first one created by director William G. Conway for the nocturnal species in 1969. This was soon followed by "World of Birds" in 1974. With the professionalism that the Wildlife Conservation Society shows in managing the Bronx Zoo, the city turned to the organization to also manage the other facilities in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
The conservation work done by the society started when William Temple Hornaday conducted a direct survey to understand the wildlife situation in the country. It was concluded that the number of birds and animals in and around the city had declined drastically. This became the basis of the new laws that were formulated to protect wildlife in the United States.
A national campaign was also started by Hornaday to help the American Bison. The zoo sent about 15 bison to the Wichita Reserve in 1907. The Wildlife Conservation Society has since then worked continuously in saving a large number of animals that are facing issues across the world.
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