About admin

Julie Larsen Maher is the sixth person to be appointed staff photographer for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since it was founded in 1895. She is also the first woman to hold the position, and the first to do large-scale conservation photography in the field. She began her career at WCS as Art Director of Publications in 1991. Julie takes photos at WCS's five New York-based wildlife parks including the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo. She also journeys to remote field locations to photograph some of the world's leading conservationists, and the culture, wildlife, and wild lands that they aim to protect in more than 60 countries.

H E L P   M A R K   H E L P   T H E   A Q U A R I U M

Sleepy Hollow middle schooler, Mark Scaglione, has stepped up to help the New York Aquarium (NYA) in its efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. He knows the animals and staff have been struggling to get the NYA back on track.

Mark has put donation containers around Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, New York, so the public can participate in his campaign to raise awareness and funds for the NYA. All the money will go to the NYA to help the Pacific walruses, California sea lions, and other marine wildlife.

People can go to nyaquarium.com and donate directly, or support Mark’s efforts at these businesses in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, New York:

A Nu Toy Store, Main Street Sweets, Sebastian’s Barber Shop, Mint, Bark and Meow, Fleetwood Pizzeria, Coffee Labs, Pastry Chef, The Village Soccer Shop, Lubins-N-Links, and Yogurt Le Crepe.

Great job, Mark, we appreciate your efforts!

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS



T U R T L E  T A L L Y  O N  T H E  B R O N X  R I V E R

Kayaking on the Bronx River in search of turtles with top herpetologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has to be one of the highlights of my job as staff photographer.

WCS set out to gather baseline data on reptile and amphibian populations in the river that runs alongside the Bronx Zoo. We trapped and then released the herps that included snapping turtles (below) and red-eared slides. Species, location, age, and gender of the animals were recorded, and our vets collected blood samples for testing of disease and pollutants. This information will help to assess reptile and amphibian health in these local waters.

My role was to photo-document their work while staying upright in a kayak!

Today’s NY Daily News has a bigger story on our efforts.

TIP: If you are working on the river, take a waterproof bag and large, plastic ziplock bags to keep cameras dry, and wear OLD shoes!

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


V I S I T  T H E  T R O P I C S  I N  D E C E M B E R

It is the cold season at Central Park Zoo (CPZ,) but step into the Tropic Zone, and you’ll be in a rainforest filled with animals like exotic birds and leaping lemurs.

A particular favorite of mine to photograph in the CPZ Tropic Zone is the Taveta golden weaver. The male of this species is always busy weaving intricate oval-shaped nests with the hope of impressing a female. She makes the choice, though, based on which guy has the best constructed nest.

Lenses fog over quickly when coming in from the cold. Leave 15-20 minutes to acclimate camera gear when planning an indoor shoot like the weaver.

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS



H O L I D A Y  G I F T S

Our wildlife at the Wildlife Conservation Society, like this red panda, get gifts during the holiday season. Their presents are boxes filled with food treats that are wrapped in paper. The activity of “opening” their gifts enriches the animals by encouraging behaviors they would use in the wild like searching and digging for their meals.

There is nothing cuter than a happy red panda at Prospect Park Zoo!

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


S T O P  W I L D L I F E  C R I M E 

Illegal wildlife products are very profitable on the black market with links to drug and weapons trafficking. The demand for things like big cat pelts, traditional medicines, and ivory carvings threaten the existence of tigers, elephants, and other animals.

Take the wildlife pledge at wildlifepledge.org to join in the fight to save our endangered wildlife.

Read more at wcs.org.

Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS


L E T  I T  S N O W !

At least that is what our snow leopards think!

If it looks like a good snowfall is coming, grab your down jacket and camera, and head to our Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) zoos. We are open all year.

For some animals at the WCS parks, the colder, the better. Wildlife like snow leopards (find them at the Bronx Zoo and Central Park Zoo,) polar bears, Amur tigers, baboons, snowy owls, and cranes are at their best when the temperatures fall below freezing.

Remember to bring extra batteries, and store them in your pocket where it is warm. The cold zaps battery life quickly!

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS



J U N G L E  I N  T H E  W I N T E R

As the weather turns colder in New York, good photo ops turn up at the Bronx Zoo.

JungleWorld, with its river otters, tree kangaroos, gibbons, and langurs, is open year round. Even when it’s snowing outside, the ebony langurs are at home inside in their mangrove swamp.

The noon hour brings good ambient light to JungleWorld for best pictures.

In the wild, langurs are threatened due to overhunting and destruction of their rainforest habitat.

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS



G I V I N G  G I F T S 

Gift giving is fun.

Our Andean bears at the Queens Zoo get to unwrap presents filled with food treats from their keepers—a form of enrichment where our bears participate in the spirit of the holiday season.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s parks—the Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Central Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium (drop off at Tom’s Diner) are doing more than presents to the animals. We are accepting new toys to give to local veterans’ families in the Bronx and some communities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy in the New York area. Gift donors will received a free ticket (click for details) to the Bronx Zoo.

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


H A P P Y  T H A N K S G I V I N G

A day to give thanks for family, friends, and that electricity has returned after Hurricane Sandy!

Our sea lions at the New York Aquarium (NYA) are happy that their homes are under restoration, even though the aquarium remains closed due to storm damage.

If you want to share your appreciation for the NYA staff, click here to add a photo or message.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS



The Wildilfe Conservation Society’s (WCS) New York Aquarium (NYA) staff has been working non-stop to care for our marine animals including walruses, otters, sea lions, and seahorses that were effected by Hurricane Sandy.

Want to tell them yourself that they are doing a great job?!

The WCS web team has created a share page where you can send photos, drawings, and thoughts of thanks and inspiration to the NYA as they continue to restore the entire facility.

Click the thank you link below and use Instagram, Facebook, Email, or Twitter



Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS