WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) released today its favorite images of 2018.

Ten of the images come from WCS’s Bronx Zoo (with one from the New York Aquarium), and ten images are from WCS’s Global Conservation Programs taken by WCS scientists working around the world. 

WCS operates five wildlife parks in New York City (Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo) and works in nearly 60 countries and across the world's ocean saving wildlife and wild places.

CAPTIONS and credits for included Bronx Zoo images:


A herd of markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri), including adult males, females, and several juveniles born this year, are running together across their exhibit. This herd lives in a rocky habitat in the wild and along the Wild Asia Monorail at the Bronx Zoo. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


This photo of a Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) taking a dip in the pool at Tiger Mountain is the winner of the annual Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) photo contest and is the cover of the December 2018 issue of AZA’s Connect magazine. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


A group of juvenile Chinese crocodile lizards (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) hatched earlier this year at the Bronx Zoo. The species are on exhibit in the Reptile House. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


This shot is obviously not the Bronx Zoo, but WCS opened the long-awaited Ocean Wonder’s: Sharks! exhibit at the New York Aquarium during summer 2018. This photo shows the massive size of the Hudson Canyon’s Edge exhibit which is a recreation of a vital ecosystem and its inhabitants found in the waters off the coast of New York City. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

#5529 – GAUR

Gaur (Bos gaurus) are the world’s largest species of wild cattle and are native to India and areas of Southeast Asia. At the Bronx Zoo, gaur can be seen grazing from the Wild Asia Monorail. This photo shows two adults. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

#6286 – MANDRILL

The mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) troop in the Bronx Zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit got some attention this year for a new baby. This shot is a close-up of the adult male that sired this year’s baby. The males of the species are much larger and more colorful than the females. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


A snow leopard’s (Panthera uncia) beautiful white spotted coat helps it blend into the rocks and trees within its environment. This shot of a snow leopard at the Bronx Zoo’s Himalayan Highlands is a good example of how that camouflage works. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

#7994 – SLOW LORIS

The slow loris (Nycticebus) is a small nocturnal primate native to Southeast Asia. Their huge eyes are adapted to help them see in dark of night. This slow loris can be seen in JungleWorld if you let your eyes adjust to the dark. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

#8357 – GELADA

The Bronx Zoo is the only zoo in North America breeding geladas (Theropithecus gelada). There have been several offspring born in recent years making for a very active scene in the zoo’s Baboon Reserve. The geladas share the exhibit with rock hyrax and Nubian ibex. PHOTO CREDIT: Megan Maher © WCS


Burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) came to the Bronx Zoo from the Queens Zoo in 2017. In 2018, they have already hatched several offspring. The tiny owl species uses burrows created by prairie dogs and other animals to nest and avoid predators. PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

CAPTIONS and credits for included WCS Global Conservation Program images:


To better understand the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus, WCS partnered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Central Africa last spring to place GPS collars on bats, including this moose-like hammer-headed fruit bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus). Bats are suspected to be asymptomatic reservoirs Ebola, which threatens human health, and is linked to massive declines in populations of western lowland gorillas in Congo and Gabon. WCS is looking for a way to prevent Ebola outbreaks and help conserve these bats for future generations. PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Olson


WCS marine scientists surveying the waters of New York Bight for marine mammals and other species are enjoying a banner year, encountering a wide array of marine life in the waters just beyond—and sometimes in sight of—New York City including humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). PHOTO CREDIT: WCS Ocean Giants/Image taken under NMFS MMPA/ESA Permit No. 14809


IS IT A WORM? IS IT A SNAKE? No, it’s Fisher’s caecilian (Boulengarula fischeri), a worm-like amphibian that is only found in Cyamudongo in Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda, and a species that could possibly go extinct in the next century due to climate change according to a WCS study released in early 2018.  PHOTO CREDIT: Fabio Pupin 


A pink river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) is one of several charismatic species that will benefit from the creation of the Baixo Rio Branco-Jauaperi Extractive Reserve created last July in Brazil. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Durigan/WCS 


WCS conservationists working in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park have not one but two good reasons to be hopeful for the park’s savanna elephant (Loxodonta Africana) population: a pair of rare twin calves were born last April.  PHOTO CREDIT: WCS Tanzania Program


A whiptail lizard (genus Kentropyx) one of 124 species potentially new to science discovered during the two-and-a-half-year Identidad Madidi Expedition where WCS and Bolivian scientists visited 15 Remote Sites in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. PHOTO CREDIT: Milieniusz Spanowicz/WCS


In April, WCS, along with the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and community members, announced that since 2002, they have protected 3,800 nests of 11 globally threatened bird species in the Northern Plains of Cambodia. This has led to the fledging of 6,806 birds, like these black necked storks (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus).  PHOTO CREDIT: Phann Sithan


In June, WCS celebrated the birthday of “Kingo” a silverback Western lowland gorilla (gorilla gorilla gorilla) estimated to be 40 years old and living in Nouabale Ndoki National Park, a protected area WCS helps manage in the Republic of Congo. PHOTO CREDIT: Ivonne Kienast


In March, conservationists from WCS India were astonished to see this Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) picking up ash with its trunk, closing its mouth and blowing it back out in a cloud of smoke. Charcoal has toxin-binding properties that may provide medicinal value. Charcoal can also serve as a laxative, thereby doubling its utility for animals that consume it after forest fires, lightning strikes, or controlled burns. PHOTO CREDIT Vinay Kumar


In October, conservationists from WCS, Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), released 24 zebras (Equus quagga) into Tanzania’s Kitulo National Park in the Southern Highlands region – part of a bold effort to re-wild this once pristine landscape. PHOTO CREDIT: Sophy Machaga/WCS