Conservation Field Diaries

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March 26, 2015
Post from the President--Working for a Reward

Chimpanzees will "work" a little harder for a special reward, zoo scientists have found. But how do gorillas respond to a token-exchange system? President and CEO Kevin Bell has the details.

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March 26, 2015
Post from the President--Working for a Reward

Chimpanzees will "work" a little harder for a special reward, zoo scientists have found. But how do gorillas respond to a token-exchange system? President and CEO Kevin Bell has the details.

March 25, 2015
Nine Primates Move to Chicago
March 19, 2015
Ready, Set, Glow

Camera traps are incredibly useful and can allow researchers to collect large amounts of data on where species are located through space and time. However, at times it can be difficult, if not downright impossible, for citizen scientists to classify some of the photos these devices capture.

February 23, 2015
The Zoo Is Prepared for the Flu

This past year you couldn’t look at the news without reading about the recent Ebola virus outbreak. However, just a few years ago, the same could be said for bird flu. And as Ebola recedes from the news, bird flu has unfortunately made a resurgence with the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirming the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds in Washington and Oregon.

February 19, 2015
Signs in the Snow

As many Chicagoans hunker down indoors to keep warm, we at the Urban Wildlife Institute have been braving the elements to set up cameras during our winter field season.

February 2, 2015
Measuring the Lives of Mountain Gorillas

Wild animals often face significant challenges that zoo animals’ carefully managed lives make them immune to. In addition to securing food every day, finding shelter from the elements and protecting themselves from predators, they have to navigate the stress of changes in their social groups—changes that, in the wild, can have deadly consequences.

December 17, 2014
Tag, You're It!

Since the launch of Chicago Wildlife Watch, almost 250,000 tags have been committed to the first season of available data. This is a huge amount of information, and Urban Wildlife Institute researchers thought it was about time to start visualizing it! As a first pass, it’s probably a good idea to take a look at what people have been tagging.

December 15, 2014
Trees for Chimpanzees

I miss living in the forest. Every morning, vocalizing colobus monkeys provided my alarm clock, and I’d hear chimpanzees stirring among the trees. From my bedroom window I’d watch monkeys leap from branch to branch. I was without the comforts of home—running water, electricity, phone, refrigeration—but it was a small sacrifice for the opportunity to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

November 19, 2014
Close Up on Camera Traps

Dozens of “camera traps” in the Republic of Congo’s remote Goualougo Triangle let zoo scientists record how chimpanzees use tools in the wild.

November 14, 2014
Chicago Canine Close-Up

Many of the predatory mammals that live in and around Chicago are canids (a biological family including coyotes, foxes, wolves, domestic dogs and more.). These are among the species we see at the Urban Wildlife Institute as we sort through the more than 1 million photos of local wildlife we’ve gathered through the Urban Wildlife Biodiversity Monitoring Project.

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