Conservation Field Diaries

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October 23, 2014
Heads Up on Local Wildlife

If you’ve logged in to Chicago Wildlife Watch and are entering data from our Urban Wildlife Biodiversity Monitoring project, you’ve noticed we’re collecting information on the species, the number of individuals and the presence of young in more than 1 million photos of Chicago wildlife. This information helps us understand what types of habitat Chicago’s urban wildlife prefers and how that might change over time.

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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.

June 12, 2013
A Zoo Scientist Reflects on Her Career Path
June 7, 2013
Pet Chimps Will Relocate to Houston Zoo—Just in Time

Six chimpanzees currently living at a residence in Mechanicsville, Virginia, will find a new home at Houston Zoo later this year, thanks to long-running efforts by Lincoln Park Zoo’s Project ChimpCARE, Houston Zoo and Curtis and Bea Shepperson, the chimpanees’ current owners.

May 29, 2013
Damp But Not Deterred

The abundance of rainfall and flooding we’ve received in the Chicago metro area this spring has prompted a question among Urban Wildlife Institute (UWI) staff members: what on earth were we thinking when we decided to do fieldwork year-round?

Most wildlife research is conduct

May 23, 2013
Northern Exposure

This past winter, white-nose syndrome was confirmed in wild bat populations in southern Illinois. The fatal disease, first discovered in New York State in 2006, is caused by a fungus that infects hibernating bats. It has rapidly spread across the United States and Canada, expanding its range every year and resulting in the loss of more than 6 million bats so far.

April 11, 2013
Guest Post from the President—Great Ape Economics?

With President and CEO Kevin Bell in Charleston for the AZA mid-year conference, he hands over his blog to Fisher Center Director Steve Ross, who offers an update on the zoo's latest work to understand--and protect--great apes.

Research Scientist Lydia Hopper, Ph.D.,

November 28, 2012
Gorilla Matchmaking and Family Planning

The zoo’s two new infant gorillas aren’t just a milestone for the new gorilla moms and their social group at Regenstein Center for African Apes. They’re also the culmination of years of planning and cooperation by more than 50 zoos and hundreds of zoo professionals—keepers, curators, directors, vets, institutional representatives, advisors and more—around the country.

November 15, 2012
Learning How to Be a Gorilla from Mom

Here at the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, we’re very excited about the baby gorilla born last month. The mother, Bana, is being a great caregiver for the infant, Patty, who will be completely dependent on mom for many months.

November 7, 2012
Back on Bats

Thanks to the nature-loving citizens of Chicago, researchers from Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute have received numerous emails with helpful suggestions on where bats are living in our city!

Just one example—here's a photo of a eastern red bat provided by John Farabaugh in Hebron, Indiana. Eastern red bats are pretty common around here.

November 6, 2012
International Exchange

Last month a group of us traveled to Vienna’s University of Veterinary Medicine for the third Annual International Society for Wildlife Endocrinology conference. Zoo staff Diana Armstrong, Edward Wilkerson and I made the trip, in part to discuss the endocrinology database Lincoln Park Zoo has been developing.

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