BY REBECCA JASULEVICZ
On May 5, East Stroudsburg University’s Campus Activities Board arranged a daytrip to the Bronx Zoo.
Featuring over 600 species, the Bronx Zoo is the world’s largest urban zoo. Some of these species include Snow Leopards, African Wild Dogs, Bald Eagles, Henkel’s Leaf-tailed Gecko and Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.
The Bronx Zoo, as well as the Central Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium, all belong to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which works to advance wildlife conservation and promote the study of zoology.
According to their website, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s current goal is to “address four of the biggest issues facing wildlife and wild places: climate change, natural resource exploitation, the connection between wildlife health and human health, and the sustainable development of human livelihoods.”
One of the WCS’s current projects is the restoration of the Bronx River. While there was once abundant pollution caused by waste dumping and damming, the WCS has been working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to rehabilitate the river so that it can be inhabitable by fish, beavers and numerous birds.
Another of the WCS’s recent projects is its new exhibit entitled “Madagascar!” This exhibit is located at the Bronx Zoo and contains a diverse array of species, some of which are endangered. The exhibit contains information about threats that these creatures may face, as well as what can be done to try to save them.
According to the WCS, eighty percent of these creature’s habitats have been lost to logging and slash-and-burn agriculture. The “Madagascar!” exhibit attempts to let visitors see the island through the eyes of a conservationist.
The WCS aims to protect twenty five percent of the world’s biodiversity not only through its efforts to promote conservation in its zoos and aquariums, but also by managing more than two hundred million acres of protected lands around the world.
“We hope our work in turn inspires millions to take action to protect the natural resources that are so important to all life on our fragile Earth,” says the WCS website.
Every year, the Wildlife Conservation Society educates millions of schoolchildren about science and conservation issues in the hopes of making people more aware of the safety of our planet and the millions of creatures that inhabit it.
More information about the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Bronx Zoo can be found at www.wcs.org
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