Wildlife conservation is the idea that we, as human beings, must play an active role in protecting the world’s wildlife resources. One of the original organizations concerning wildlife conservation in the United States can be traced back to New York State in 1895 with the creation of the New York Zoological Society. The Society’s mission was to advance the conservation of wildlife, promote the study of zoology, and create a first-class zoological park.
Theodore Roosevelt was among some of the notable New Yorkers responsible for the creation of the organization, which today is called the Wildlife Conservation Society. Roosevelt, known by many Americans as the “Conservation President,” realized the perilous state of our natural wildlife resources when he visited the Badlands in 1883. He quickly became aware of the damages that were caused to both the land and the wildlife due to unwise hunting practices and the spread of disease. The decimation of big game animals, such as the American Bison, devastated Roosevelt to such a degree that conservation became one of his major concerns.
Roosevelt created many programs in the name of wildlife conservation during his term as the 26th president. Among his many accomplishments was the establishment of five National Parks, the implementation of the Antiquities Act, and the establishment the U.S. Forest Service. Thanks to Theodore Roosevelt, conservation of wildlife is a prominent part of American heritage and today there are several organizations, which strive to maintain and preserve wildlife populations.