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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July 16, 2012
Upward Bound

Some of the public art Rachel sees while collaborating with Montana's Northern Cheyenne Reservation on black-footed ferret conservation.

Today was our first day with the Upward Bound program, which helps high school students prep for college. The Northern Cheyenne chapter has around 20 students from high schools in and around the reservation.

July 11, 2012
A Smoky Arrival at Northern Cheyenne Reservation

Part of the beautiful landscape around Montana's Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

I’ve been visiting the Northern Cheyenne tribe in Montana since October 2009 as part of the zoo’s partnership with the community to conserve endangered black-footed ferrets. The region’s beauty never ceases to amaze me.

May 25, 2012
Planning the Future for Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes

In addition to searching for massasaugas in the cattails and mud puddles of southwest Michigan recently, the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Species Survival Plan® (SSP) committee that coordinates zoo management of the species also held their annual population planning meeting.

May 22, 2012
A View from the Lab

Our recent fieldwork with eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in southwest Michigan had most of the attendees slogging through cattails and mud puddles in search of this shy and elusive snake.


The eastern massasauga rattlesnake Lisa spotted in Michigan--her first in four years of looking!
May 15, 2012
What It’s Like to Look for Rattlesnakes

I was lucky to be able to join the eastern massasauga rattlesnake survey team in southeastern Michigan a couple weeks ago, part of Lincoln Park Zoo’s efforts to save the species, which is endangered in Illinois. I arrived excited to search, but as a novice, I was first shown photos to get the “search image” in my mind of what a snake looks like with its cryptic coloration hidden among vegetation.

April 20, 2012
Being “Fully Chimpanzee”

A child reaches out to chimpanzee Riley at the Houston Zoo. Courtesy of the Houston Zoo Inc.

March 30, 2012
Discovery of a New Species of Rabies Virus

A civet cat in Serengeti National Park.

The effectiveness of the Lincoln Park Zoo–led effort to eliminate rabies in Serengeti National Park is often measured in rabies sightings in the park’s wild animals.

February 6, 2012
Climbing the Mountain to See Gorillas

It seemed like we were surrounded by the famous mountain gorillas.

February 2, 2012
Happy Groundhog Day!

Every year on February 2, we celebrate Groundhog Day. But what are groundhogs, and why do they have their own holiday?

Groundhogs (a.k.a. woodchucks) are medium-sized rodents, typically weighing 7–10 pounds.

January 30, 2012
Studying Stress in Rwanda’s Gorillas

A view of the mountains.

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