At WCS, we operate five wildlife parks in New York City (Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo) and work in 50-plus countries saving wildlife and wild places. As we close out 2023, we're reflecting on all that we've accomplished this year for nature, which wouldn't have been possible without your support. Thank you!
Two snow leopard cubs debuted in 2023 at the Bronx Zoo. Snow leopards, among the world’s most elusive big cats, are rarely seen in the wild and are sometimes referred to as “the ghost of the mountains.”
Regular “New Yorkers”
It’s clear that whales have become regular “New Yorkers” as evidenced by images taken in 2023 by scientists with WCS’s Ocean Giants Program. Here: a humpback whale within sight of the New York City skyline.
New National Protected Area
This great adjutant lives in Cambodia’s Bakan Protected Landscape. Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and the Pursat Provincial Administration and Department of Environment, announced in 2023 the official designation of the Bakan grassland as a national protected area officially called the Bakan Protected Landscape.
This is a blacktip reef shark. A new study, featuring more than 150 researchers worldwide, including Wildlife Conservation Society scientists who collected data at WCS programs in Mesoamerica, South East Asia, Melanesia and East Africa, said in 2023 that overfishing is driving reef sharks toward extinction.
New Bronx Zoo Experience
A new experience opened in 2023 at the Bronx Zoo, Budgie Landing, an immersive walkthrough exhibit that includes more than 1000 colorful budgerigars, commonly known as budgies
Unseen There in Nearly Two Decades
This is a lioness in Sena Oura National Park. A team of conservationists from the Government of Chad and the Wildlife Conservation Society released in 2023 a stunning image taken by a remote camera of a healthy female lion from Sena Oura National Park in Chad, where the big cats haven’t been seen in nearly two decades.
20 Turtles Released
Here, a Buddhist monk assists with the release of a royal turtle. WCS, in collaboration with Mandai Nature and the Fisheries Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, released 20 critically endangered royal turtles into the Sre Ambel River system in Koh Kong Province's Sre Ambel district.
First-Ever Report of Pallas’s Cat on Mount Everest
Pictured: a Pallas’s cat living in WCS Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn. Findings from a paper published in 2023 in Cat News identified the first ever report of Pallas’s cat on Mount Everest, in the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal.
Test for Zoonotic Diseases
In 2023, we released an image of scientists taking a swab from a straw-colored fruit bat to test it for zoonotic diseases such as the Ebola virus.
Pictured here: Snow monkeys at the Central Park Zoo. Japanese macaques, also known as snow monkeys, are a species native to Japan. No other non-human primate lives so far north or in such a cold climate. Their thick coats insulate them from the wind & snow, & some snow monkey troops in Japan frequent natural hot springs in winter.
Protect Hudson Canyon
This octopus is found in the Hudson Canyon. Throughout 2023, we worked to rally support to have the Hudson Canyon, about 100 miles off the coast of New York, designated as a National Marine Sanctuary.