February 9 — U.S. Fish Commission Created (1871)

Commercial fishermen first raised the alarm:  The oceans were being overfished.  They knew it long before anyone else, because they were experiencing smaller catches from each haul of their nets, needed to travel to deeper and more dangerous waters to fill their holds, and caught smaller fish every year. It took many years and much […]

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February 7 — Karl August Mobius, Ecology Pioneer, Born (1825)

The concept of biocenosis—that plants and animals live together in an interactive community—is central to the science of ecology, and, therefore, to conservation.  Both the term and idea originated with the pioneering German zoologists, Karl August Mobius. Mobius was born in the small Prussian town of Eilenburg, Germany, on February 7, 1925 (died 1908).  He […]

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February 5 — National Wildlife Federation Created (1936)

The famous editorial cartoonist and conservationist Ding Darling had a vision for a new organization that would unite local and state groups—a national wildlife organization.  And so he made it happen! Ding Darling (1876-1962) was the Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist for the Des Moines Register.  But he was also a devoted conservationist, with strong beliefs that our […]

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January 27 — National Geographic Society Incorporated (1888)

When I was a middle-schooler (or the equivalent, since Chicago didn’t have middle schools in 1960), I waited eagerly for every issue of National Geographic.   That magazine took me to faraway places filled with exotic plants, animals, people and landscapes—and taught me to want to protect and conserve them. Educated and cultured homes in those […]

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February 2 — Groundhog Day

Perhaps it’s a stretch to call this a conservation event—but Groundhog Day, celebrated on February 2, makes this humble rodent one of the most famous of wildlife species. Groundhog Day has a long history, connected to both pagan and Christian traditions.  In Christian tradition, February 2, the 40th day after Christmas, is Candlemas.  Candlemas represents […]

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