Conservation Field Diaries

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August 27, 2014
Northern Cheyenne Dogs Days of Summer

Back in December, we ventured to southeast Montana to get a better idea of the free-roaming dog population wandering the streets of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana.

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August 27, 2014
Northern Cheyenne Dogs Days of Summer

Back in December, we ventured to southeast Montana to get a better idea of the free-roaming dog population wandering the streets of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana.

July 14, 2014
Back in the Field to Save Black-Footed Ferrets

Before this spring, it had been almost eight years since I had done black-footed ferret fieldwork! So I was excited to head back into the wild in March. After all, beyond helping a critically endangered species, there’s nothing like being out on the prairie in the middle of the night.

May 19, 2014
The Color of Money

Sustainable logging (look for the FSC label!) may offer a way to save habitat for gorillas and chimpanzees outside protected areas in the Republic of Congo. Zoo scientist Dave Morgan is learning more.

March 25, 2014
Family Planning for Puerto Rican Parrots

To help the endangered Puerto Rican parrot, I recently took my everyday scientific advising of animal populations from my Chicago office to the dense, green rainforests of Puerto Rico. My colleagues at Lincoln Park Zoo and I have been working with the dedicated staff at two aviaries in on the island since 2006, making a perfect match of our population management expertise and their husbandry skills.

December 20, 2013
Chatting with the Cheyenne Community

For several years, Lincoln Park Zoo has worked with Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Tribe on black-footed ferret recovery efforts. Over those years, the zoo has expanded its relationship with the tribe to also incorporate science education and look at community health issues.

December 18, 2013
Community Health Close to Home

It’s always some kind of climate issue when I’m out in Montana. Last time it was a huge fire that burned hundreds of thousands of acres. This time it’s sub-zero temperatures. Brrrr!

December 12, 2013
Feral or Not?

For the last few years, Lincoln Park Zoo has been working with the Northern Cheyenne tribe in southeast Montana in an effort to restore the endangered black-footed ferret. One component of that study is to determine if the feral dog population poses any threats to ferrets as well as the health of the Northern Cheyenne people.

October 29, 2013
The Bats of Chicago

For the last couple years, Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute has spent some time listening to the skies. Because of this data, we now have a pretty good idea of who is flying around at night, chomping up all of the nighttime insects, from moths to mosquitoes.

September 27, 2013
How Should Humans Treat Animals?

The principles of natural selection make clear the fact that animals have adapted to particular environments. We’ve all heard how giraffes evolved long necks to reach the highest branches or how zebras evolved monochromatic stripes to confuse predators.

June 19, 2013
Snake, Rattle and Roll Call

Much like Chicagoans on the first warm Saturday of the year, each spring eastern massasauga rattlesnakes (“EMRs” for brevity) emerge from the holes in which they hibernate all winter. Like us, they’re ready for some sun and a good meal—in their case, to kick-start growth and reproduction for the year.

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