Conservation Field Diaries

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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.

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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.

January 6, 2012
Cold, Hard Science

Chicago winters are tough on wildlife. Unfortunately, they’re also pretty tough on the field biologists who venture out into the cold to learn about wildlife.


Research Coordinator Liza Watson Lehrer in winter gear.

Many researchers restrict their work to the summer months, when temperatures are high, food is abundant and animals are moving around.

December 13, 2011
The Community Moves Boulders

Lesanna Lahner, our new veterinary epidemiologist fellow, and I began our trip to Africa by landing at the Kilimajaro airport and driving to Arusha, Tanzania.

December 8, 2011
Chimps Should Be Chimps

Since 2009, Lincoln Park Zoo’s Project ChimpCARE has led research and education initiatives to address important issues related to chimpanzee welfare. We’ve travelled around the country to meet with people who house chimpanzees in their backyards and basements. We’ve advocated policy reform to provide greater protection for chimpanzees living in the United States.

December 1, 2011
Reaching Out

“I had no idea that prairie dogs are so important to the ecosystem!”

“I didn’t know that we had endangered species like the black-footed ferret living in our backyard!”

These are just a couple statements shared by participants at a recent community workshop on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana.

November 17, 2011
Seahorses Shake Up Population Planning

For those of us in zoos who work more with computers than live animals, drama and excitement come in the form of new data challenges. Yes, really. Population biologists love data, and we get a kick out of analyzing new information and coming up with creative strategies to achieve the greater goal of maintaining healthy zoo populations.

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