Chicago Rat Project: Thoughts About Rats during the Stay-at-home Order

Since pandemic restrictions have been in place, there have been various articles about rats circulating social media platforms. There have also been emails from local community organizations and aldermanic offices that have been about the Chicago Rat Project. This project asked residents across our city about rats to help us understand the experiences and feelings…

Beneficial Bugs

Who let the bugs out? The zoo’s horticulture team did! When asked to think about garden insects, most people would land on the term ‘pest’ before ‘beneficial.’ Although insects typically receive a bad reputation, certain species can help control plant pests. Inside Lincoln Park Zoo’s buildings, like McCormick Bird House and Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House,…

Celebrating 10 Years of Nature Boardwalk

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Nature Boardwalk, the urban oasis just south of the zoo. Formally known as “South Pond”, this space was once a traditional, ornamental pond, surrounded by a concrete path, turf grass, and mostly non-native vegetation that supported few native wildlife species. In 2009, Lincoln Park Zoo set out to…

Our Nocturnal Neighbors

The cicadas sing on a beautiful summer night and you sneak outside of your house to toss some garbage into one of your bins. As soon as you turn the corner and the automatic lights flash on, your eye catches a fallen bin wiggle just a bit. In a moment of confusion, you watch as…

Consistency Is Key

While the Tanzanian plains might look vastly different than the forests of the Republic of Congo or the great Chicago skyline, Lincoln Park Zoo’s conservation sites may have more in common than one might think. Each benefits from the zoo’s tried-and-true approaches, refined using decades of noninvasively collected data across the sites, to helping mitigate…

Reaching New Summits

In a rapidly urbanizing world, how do you build wildlife-friendly cities? Through research, planning, and collaboration. The Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN) held its first summit to encourage unity between experts of all kinds. The Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN), created by the Urban Wildlife Institute at Lincoln Park Zoo, combats the biodiversity crisis by…

Living Among Apes

For the last 20 years, the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project (GTAP) staff have lived and breathed wild great ape research and conservation. Under the leadership of Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes research scientist David Morgan, Ph.D., the team has grown across two remote field sites and employs site managers and…

Thirty and Thriving

Lincoln Park Zoo’s Conservation & Science department began in 1989 with only a single scientist, but has become one of the largest zoo-based science programs in the country. On any given day at Lincoln Park Zoo, animals explore their habitats, families criss-cross the Main Mall, and wild pollinators flit between native plant species. But that’s only the tip of the…

Providing Opportunities to Thrive

How does an animal tell you how they’re feeling or what they’re experiencing? Science. More specifically, through the Animal Welfare Science Program, a formalized initiative to better understand each individual in the zoo’s care. The dedicated Animal Care staff at the zoo work 365 days a year to feed specialized diets, create dynamic habitats, and…

Amphibious Alliance

Lions. Elephants. Chimpanzees. African dogs. Mountain gorillas. Rachel Santymire, Ph.D., director of Lincoln Park Zoo’s Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, has studied wild and captive species from every corner of the world via hair, blood, nail, semen, urine, and fecal samples. By analyzing the stress and reproductive hormones in biological materials, she monitored the…