Familial Love A Theme In Wildlife Conservation Society Favorite Images Of 2019


Madison Dapcevich

Staff Writer

clockDec 23 2019, 23:04 UTC

Two Andean bear ((Tremarctos ornatus) cubs were born to a mother at the Queens Zoo in New York. The unique markings on their faces earned the South American bear the nickname of Spectacled Bear. Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) released its favorite images of 2019 from across five New York City wildlife parks and from operators whose work spans nearly 60 countries around the world. Topping the list this year are images of familial affection, from two red panda cubs whose births represent a movement to save the species to Andean bear cubs who were debuted with their mother in May.

WCS assists governments and communities in protecting “natural systems critical to saving wildlife and wild places” by using basic principles of social and environmental sustainability.


“Over the past century, WCS has established a long-term conservation presence in the last wild places across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, built strong and trusting partnerships, and acquired a depth of knowledge that ensures effective conservation action. We protect these last wild places because they are intact, biodiverse, most resilient to climate change, and bastions for large, iconic wildlife species,” writes the organization on its website.

To celebrate the planet and the work the organization does, WCS is sharing images of our planet’s eclectic species and ecosystems.

Red Panda Cubs Make Their Debut At Prospect Park Zoo 

Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Two red panda cubs (Ailurus fulgens refulgens) debuted at a WCS park this fall. Their births were part of a collaborative breeding program with other accredited zoos known as the Species Survival Plan whose aim is to maintain genetic diversity in the population. 


American Flamingo Parent Nurtures His Hatchling

Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

An American or Caribbean flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruberparent is seen with a chick characterized by its white downy plumage. It will develop its pink feathers after consuming algae, crustaceans, and other rose-hued invertebrates. 

Mother And Baby Gelada Comfort Each Other At The Baboon Reserve

Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

A gelada (Theropithecus gelada) is seen with its baby, which was sired by a male who received a wireless heart monitor through a surgical procedure.


Vulnerable Gaur Calf Born At The Bronx Zoo

Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

A vulnerable gaur calf (Bos gaurus) born at the Bronx Zoo this year will grow to be one of the world's largest species of wild cattle. With between 6,000 and 21,000 individuals left across wooded habitats of Asia, the species is decreasing largely due to human encroachment. 

Three Bison Line Up For Their Photo-Op

Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

A male, female, and bison calf (Bison bison) line up perfectly for a photo opportunity at the Bronx Zoo. With less than 13,000 American bison left in its endemic North America habitat, the giant mammal is listed as "Near Threatened" by the IUCN


"Dr. Suess" Monkey Duo Spotted Snuggling Together

Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

A colorful wolf's guenon (Cercopithecus wolfi) family is caught snuggling in the Congo Gorilla Forest at the Bronx Zoo. These tree-dwellers are found in southern Africa's Congo River region between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. 

Other Notable Images From The Last Year

A rare leucistic bison photographed with a partial loss of pigmentation. Julie Larsen Maher/WCS
A humpback whale of the coast of New York was spotted "lunge feeding" on menhaden. Image was taken under NMFS MMPA-ESA Permit No. 18786-03
A dazzling Agami heron (Agamia agami) photographed in Belize. WCS
This image was the first time the boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) was seen in Afghanistan. N. Mostafawi WCS Afghanistan
A Nubian subspecies of northern giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis Camelopardalis) photographed from a WCS survey plane in South Sudan's Badingilo National Park. Paul Elkan/WCS


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