Exhibit's Inhabitants Are Truly Feeling at Home
As WCS Celebrates First Anniversary of Madagascar!, the Exhibit Gets the Gold for Being Green
Bronx, NY – June 21 -- The Wildlife
Conservation Society’s (WCS) Bronx Zoo is celebrating the birth of five
newborns during the first year of its newest exhibit, Madagascar!.
red ruffed lemurs, 1 collared lemur and 1 Coquerel’s sifaka, all primates
endemic to Madagascar,
were born in the exhibit.
“These births are testament that the
exhibit is proving to be an ideal habitat for its inhabitants as
they settle in and raise their young,” said Jim Breheny,
Director of the Bronx Zoo and Senior Vice President of WCS’s Living
Institutions. “The birth of these lemurs is testament to the fact
that the animals are feeling secure and comfortable in their
In addition to the births, the first year
shows that its human visitors are also benefiting from the experience. Visitors
are emerging much more knowledgeable about the conservation issues facing this
island nation located off the coast of Africa.
According to a study conducted by Randi Korn
and Associates (partially funded by National Science Foundation) the exhibit is
successful at helping visitors develop new understandings about conservation in
For example, after experiencing the exhibit, the majority of visitors could explain
the roles of scientists working in Madagascar and their effect on
conservation. This is a significant shift, as prior to visiting the exhibit, 70
percent of visitors could not express how conservationists protect Madagascar.
Visitors also became more knowledgeable about the animals’ habits,
environment, and endangered status, as well as appreciative of their natural
“Our visitors enter the exhibit
enthusiastic to see strange new animals, like lemurs and fossa, and they emerge
with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the
island’s incredibly unique biodiversity and threats and challenges faced by animals living as
part of an island ecology,” said Breheny. “They emerge as
citizen conservationists, as potential partners with WCS’s
efforts to save wildlife and wild places.”
Madagascar!, a renovation of the zoo’s
historic landmark Lion House, also achieved a LEED Gold Rating* from the U.S.
Green Building Council. WCS has been recognized with several design awards for
the exhibit, including the New York City Municipal Arts Society’s Best
Restoration Award, and Excellence in Exhibit Design (the American Association
of Museums’ highest honor). The exhibit was made possible through generous funding provided by WCS public and
The Wildlife Conservation Society has
worked to save Madagascar’s
biodiversity for nearly 20 years. WCS has long standing programs
tortoises and fresh water cichlid fish species. Through its projects and partnerships, WCS is focused
on protecting and managing a diversity of wild places in Madagascar, including
the country’s largest remaining tract of rainforest, a quarter of its
coastal forests, and its vast coral reefs – the third largest coral reef
system in the world.
Two of WCS’s most notable
achievements in Madagascar
have been the design, establishment, and management of Masoala
National Park and the Makira Forest
Protected Area – Madagascar’s
two largest, contiguous protected areas. Last June, WCS and the Government of
Madagascar announced a landmark agreement, which will allow for the sale of
more than nine million tons of carbon offsets to help safeguard the Makira Forest.
In addition, WCS is working with Congress on federal climate change legislation
that would allow U.S.
companies to offset their carbon emissions through
the purchase of carbon credits. Proceeds from the sale of those credits
would, in turn, protect wildlife -- rich tropical forests like Makira --
contribute to the economic well-being of people living around forests, and help
fight global climate change.
To learn more about WCS conservation
efforts in Madagascar
and around the world, visit www.wcs.org.
*The Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design Rating System was designed by the U.S. Green Building
Council to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable
buildings. Only the platinum rating is higher.
Dixon – 718.220.3711/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Fairchild – 718.220.5189 / email@example.com
The Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays through
November 2, 2009.
Adult admission is $15, children (3-12 years old) $11, children under 3 are
free, seniors (65+) are $13. Parking is $12 for cars and $16 for buses. The
Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train
via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11
Express Bus service (from Manhattan
that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves
wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through
science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's
largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.
Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people
imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this
mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on
Special Note to the Media: If you would
like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make
donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct
them to www.wcs.org/donation