Frank Chapman traveled 90,000 miles with artists and taxidermists to gather material to re-create actual bird habitats for the Museum’s first bird hall, which opened in 1902—a time when the use of feathers for fashion threatened numerous species.
Naturalist Stephen C. Quinn explains how Chapman used these scenes to press for protection of endangered birds, urging his friend, fellow bird-lover, and then-President Theodore Roosevelt to create the first federal bird refuge.
Watch the Birding at the Museum video series.
Museum Helps Preserve Iconic Tortoise Lonesome George
Lonesome George, the world-famous Pinta Island tortoise who was the last of his kind when he died in June 2012, will be preserved in consultation with scientists from the American Museum of Natural History and by the same expert taxidermy and conservation team that worked on the acclaimed renovation of the Museum’s Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.
An icon for biodiversity conservation, Lonesome George will be on display at the Museum for a limited time starting this winter before he is returned to the Galápagos. As reported today in The New York Times, the Museum is working closely with the Galápagos National Park Service, SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry, and the Galápagos Conservancy to prepare Lonesome George’s body and spread awareness of the importance of conservation.
Watch a video about Lonesome George and his preservation here.
Catch up on current whale research in our latest podcast featuring scientists Howard Rosenbaum and Christopher Clark: http://bit.ly/1aVfmet
Recorded on May 19, 2013, at Milstein Science Series: Whales.
"Theodore Roosevelt felt that in wilderness was the preservation of the American soul," says presidential historian Douglas Brinkley in this video.
What does it mean to be an American naturalist today? Join Brinkley and a panel of experts on Tuesday, April 9, for a special event about the close links between American identity and natural heritage, as well as the role today’s naturalists can play in conservation.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.”
He articulated a vision of America that emphasized natural places as elements that define a nation’s character and that are foundational to the individual’s rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For citizens today, those notions may be controversial, if not completely remote from contemporary ideas of America.
On Tuesday, April 9, join Tom Brokaw and a panel of experts for in-depth look at the country’s current conservation policies and impact. The discussion will illuminate 21st century imperatives that can contribute to reconstructing and expanding an American identity forged in an intimate relationship to its natural history.
Photo © AMNH/D. Finnin
Photo: John and Karen Hollingsworth
Eminent ornithologist Frank M. Chapman began his 54-year career at the Museum in 1888. An avid birder from boyhood, Chapman went on to become an influential advocate for conservation.
His message was amplified by his pioneering use of photography and other visual images. An early and enthusiastic nature photographer (the first Kodak camera came to market only in 1888) Chapman owned an assortment of cameras, including this 5x7 Graflex original now on display in the reopened Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall.
Keep reading here.
Florida’s Cuthbert Rookery, depicted in this diorama, was habitat for egrets, roseate spoonbills, ibis, herons, and more. The site, located in extreme south Florida and now in Everglades National Park, was the scene of the 1905 murder of a game warden by commercial plume hunters.
In response, President Roosevelt appointed more wardens in Florida and assured the Audubon Society that he was committed to ending the sale of endangered bird feathers for fashion.
Find out more on a Theodore Roosevelt Tour of the Museum, available now in our Explorer app.
This summer, Michael Esbach, Pacific Programs manager in the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, traveled to the Solomon Islands to help improve sea turtle conservation in Tetepare, the largest uninhabited tropical island in the South Pacific. View the amazing slideshow documenting his work.