We feature organizations dedicated to the study and conservation of biodiversity, particularly those doing work in the Latin American Region. This time we feature the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) based in New York City. This is not pure coincidence, WCS’s President and CEO Dr. Christian Samper was in Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County, Florida. He gave a talk about the WCS at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute of Florida, located within 8 minutes from Surbound Expedition’s office in Vero Beach. It was a great presentation and, afterward we had the chance to talk to Dr. Samper.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, founded in 1895, has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. Our story began in the early 1900’s when we successfully helped the American bison recover on the Western Plains. Today, we protect many of the world’s iconic creatures here and abroad, including gorillas in the Congo, tigers in India, wolverines in the Yellowstone Rockies, and ocean giants in our world’s amazing seascapes.
During our 115 years, we have forged the power of our global conservation work and the management of our five parks in New York City to create the world’s most comprehensive conservation organization. We currently manage about 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries; and educate millions of visitors at our five living institutions in New York City on important issues affecting our planet. Our parks include: the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo.
With a commitment to protect 25 percent of the world’s biodiversity, we 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. While taking on these issues, we manage more than 200 million acres of protected lands around the world, with more than 200 scientists on staff.
The WCS parks in New York City welcome 4 million visitors each year, and help the city to educate millions of schoolchildren in science and conservation issues.
Our history, dating back to ensuring the survival of the American bison, inspires our work each day. 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.
Written by David Moran