WCS Announces Favorite Wildlife Pics of 2016 December 15, 2016 WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) released today its favorite images of 2016. Ten of the images come from WCS’s Global Conservation Programs taken by WCS scientists working around the world, and ten images are from WCS’s Bronx Zoo. WCS operates five wildlife parks in New York City and works in nearly 60 countries and in all the world’s oceans saving wildlife and wild places. WCS Global Conservation Programs Images Amazonian Royal Flycatcher One of more than 1,000 bird species registered to date in Madidi National Park is the Amazonian royal flycatcher ( Onychorhynchus coronatus coronatus). WCS is leading a multi-institutional effort called “Identidad Madidi” to describe still unknown species and to showcase the wonders of Bolivia’s extraordinary natural heritage at home and abroad. CREDIT: Rob Wallace/WCS. Great Hornbill Image taken during WCS surveys in Myanmar’s Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, which WCS helped establish. The great hornbill ( Buceros bicornis) is considered to be Near Threatened by IUCN due to habitat loss and hunting. Earlier this year, CITES took action to protect the helmeted hornbill, which is now Critically Endangered due to overhunting. CREDIT: WCS Myanmar. Hoolock Gibbon WCS researchers captured an image of the endangered hoolock gibbon ( Hoolock hoolock) during surveys of the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary in Myanmar. WCS conservation efforts here include biological surveys, monitoring of key wildlife species, establishment of protected areas, and assisting protected area staff with training on landscape management. CREDIT: WCS Myanmar. Dr . Joel Berger With Muskoxen Dr. Joel Berger, dressed in a polar bear costume, simulates an approaching predator to test the response of muskoxen ( Ovibos moschatus). Dr Berger studies the muskoxen on Russia’s remote Wrangel Island in the arctic–a climate refugium for the species — and compares these populations with those of Alaska experiencing warming temperatures. CREDIT: Sergey Abarok. Park Rangers in Niassa Reserve, Mozambique This photograph shows Law Enforcement Manager Jose Sitoe (center, holding a bottle of water) and other reserve scouts taking a rest while on patrol in Mozambique’s Niassa Reserve. WCS works with government agencies here to protect the country’s diverse wildlife, which has been hard hit by poaching in recent years. CREDIT: John Guernier. Spinner Dolphin, Tanzania A spinner dolphin ( Stenella longirostris) photographed along the coast of Pemba, Tanzania. WCS recently conducted the first-ever cetacean surveys of Tanzania’s coastline to determine the distribution and hotspots of these marine mammals in this region. CREDIT: Gill Braulik/WCS-Tanzania. Tigers in Russian Far East Camera trap photo of Amur tigers (Svetlaya- a female on the left; and Borya) — who were originally orphaned in the wild in two unrelated events. Rehabilitated by A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution (Russian Academy of Sciences) and PRNCO “Tiger Center,” with support from WCS, Phoenix Fund, and IFAW, the two were eventually released back to the wild. Never introduced in captivity and released 300 km apart, Borya wandered for a year and a half before arriving in Svetlaya’s home range. He has never left. Scientists are hopeful the romance will result in cubs, a key ingredient to recovering tigers in a region which, prior to the arrival of Borya and Svetlaya, had not had permanent resident tigers for over forty years. CREDIT: WCS, IFAW. View of Mbatamila Inselberg Range, Niassa Reserve This photograph looks west towards the Mbatamila Inselberg Range located near the Niassa Reserve Headquarters in Mozambique. Elephant Protection Coordinator/Aviation Manager Falk Grossman takes the moment in from a strategic vantage point. WCS researchers in Mozambique were participants in the recently completed Great Elephant Census, an effort to count savannah elephant populations across sub-Saharan Africa in response to the current escalating wave of poaching sweeping across Africa. CREDIT: John Guernier. Walking With Tigers Image taken by WCS scientist Jon Slaght as he walked along a frozen river in the Russian Far East following the tracks of an Amur tiger ( Panthera tigris altaica). WCS works here to protect iconic tigers and Amur leopards, along with their habitats. CREDIT: Jon Slaght. Wolverine and WCS Researcher This photo from WCS’s Arctic Beringia program shows WCS field technician Tom Glass holding an immobilized wolverine ( Gulo gulo) before it is fitted with a tracking collar on Alaska’s north slope. CREDIT: Ross Dorendorf/WCS. WCS Bronx Zoo images Malayan Tiger Cubs Two critically endangered Malayan tiger cubs (Panthera tigris jacksoni) born at WCS’s Bronx Zoo were hand reared by zoo staff when their mother failed to provide adequate maternal care. Once old enough, the cubs were introduced to their new home at the Bronx Zoo’s Tiger Mountain where they can now be seen by visitors. WCS conservation programs are working to save tigers where they live. There are an estimated 250 Malayan tigers remaining in the wild. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS. Blue Iguana The Bronx Zoo recently opened a blue iguana ( Cyclura lewisi) exhibit in the Reptile House. This is a critically endangered species that was once functionally extinct with fewer than 20 individuals remaining. Bronx Zoo veterinarians have been working with partners in the Blue iguana’s native range on Grand Cayman where conservation programs have successfully re-established wild populations on the island. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS. Flare-Horned Markhor A herd of Turkmenian flare-horned markhor (Capra falconeri hepterni) roam the rocky terrain in their expansive habitat along the Wild Asia Monorail at WCS’s Bronx Zoo. The herd consists of 11 males, easily identified by their huge spiraled horns and distinct coats; 10 females, which are smaller than the males and have much shorter horns; and their offspring which includes eight kids born this year. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS. Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill A silvery-cheeked hornbill (Bycanistes brevis) goes after a grape mid-flight high above Astor Court at WCS’s Bronx Zoo. The display of aerial dexterity was part of the second annual Birds In Flight demonstration that gave Bronx Zoo visitors an up-close experience with dozens of bird species. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS. Green-Winged Macaw A green-winged macaw (Ara chloropterus) prepares to land as it approaches a perch in the crowd on Astor Court at the WCS’s Bronx Zoo. The free-flying birds were one of several species at the second annual Birds In Flight demonstration that gave Bronx Zoo visitors an up-close experience with dozens of bird species. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS. Juvenile Western Lowland Gorilla A juvenile Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) rides backwards atop its mother in the Congo Gorilla Forest at WCS’s Bronx Zoo. There are five young gorillas under two years old at the Bronx Zoo, making for an extremely busy exhibit. Entry fees to the Congo Gorilla Forest are used to fund WCS conservation programs in Africa and have contributed more than $14 million since the award winning exhibit opened in 1999. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS. Little Penguin In 2016, a little penguin (Eudyptula minor) was hatched and reared at WCS’s Bronx Zoo — a first in the 120 year history of the zoo. A colony of little penguins, also known as little blue penguins, came to the Bronx from the Taronga Zoo in Australia in 2015. WCS supports little penguin conservation efforts in Australia’s Sydney harbor. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS. Gelada Baboons For the second year in a row, the gelada (Theropithecus gelada) baboons at WCS’s Bronx Zoo produced offspring. The family groups can be observed at the zoo’s Baboon Reserve. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS. Collared Lemur Collared lemur babies (Eulemur collaris) hide in the thick fur of their mothers until they are large enough to start exploring on their own. WCS’s Bronx Zoo announced the birth of one collared lemur and two ring tailed lemurs ( Lemur catta) in 2016 in the Madagascar! exhibit. The Bronx Zoo has had tremendous success breeding lemurs as part of Species Survival Plans (SSP), cooperative breeding programs designed to enhance the genetic viability of animal populations in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS Rodrigues Fruit Bats A colony of Rodrigues fruit bats ( Pteropus rodricensis) in JungleWorld at WCS’s Bronx Zoo. Rodrigues fruit bats, also known as Rodrigues flying foxes, are classified as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are found only on the island of Rodrigues in the western Indian Ocean. CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS.
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WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347–840–1242.