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fall foliage

Autumn Conservation Festival

Don't miss your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the animals of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute this weekend, October 6 and 7! SCBI Front Royal is only open to the public once each year. Get your ticket today

Fall 2012

New Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Opens at SCBI Front Royal

new academic center 

A new Academic Center, Residential Facility, and Dining Commons are now complete at SCBI Front Royal. Undergraduates have already moved into the Residential Facility for the start of our fall academic semester. Check out the new facility and explore the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

Learning from the Short Life of a Giant Panda Cub

giant panda

Since the birth of giant panda cub Tai Shan in 2005, the world (and especially our scientists) wondered whether Mei Xiang would bring forth a sibling. Then, on September 16, 2012, she gave birth to a female cub. The tragic loss of the Zoo's newest panda underscores the challenges facing these beloved bears. Read the latest update

Smithsonian's National Zoological Park Wins Awards for Conservation and Diversity Education

AZA logo

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) awarded the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park top honors for the 2012 AZA International Conservation Award for our work on scientific approaches to giant panda conservation. Get the details

As Robins Disperse, West Nile Mosquitoes Switch Diet to Humans

American robin

A spike in West Nile virus is taking health officials across the country by surprise. This year, more than 2,600 people in 45 states and the District of Columbia have been stricken with severe symptoms of this mosquito-transmitted disease. Read the Q & A with SCBI Ornithologist Pete Marra

A ''Butterfly Effect'' on Population Modeling


As any butterfly watcher knows, it is hard enough to spot a specific butterfly—it turns out that tracking a whole population of butterflies poses an even bigger challenge. A research ecologist from SCBI's Conservation Ecology Center uncovers flaws in the methods scientists use to estimate butterfly populations, with important ramifications for wildlife conservation. Read about the study

Feeding the Animals at the National Zoo


Did you know that the National Zoo was the first zoo in the United States to hire a research nutritionist on staff? That commitment to promoting and practicing cutting-edge wildlife nutrition for zoo and free-ranging species of birds, mammal, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates continues today. Scientists tailor diets for each of our more than 400 species of animals and conduct nutrition studies on animals both in zoos and in the wild. Explore the Department of Nutrition

What's Up

Adult Class: The Zoo in Rock Creek Park

Explore how the Smithsonian's National Zoo has been shaped by the topography of Rock Creek Park and what it might look like in years to come with the Zoo's resident landscape architect. Study the importance of the landscape and how natural patterns of the land influence design.

National Zoo Launches App

The National Zoo's mobile app allows you to watch our live web cams from anywhere in the world! Now, with the swipe of a fingertip, smartphone users can explore our animals, exhibits, and conservation projects! Available for both iPhone and Android.

In the field

Biodiversity in Tropical Protected Areas May Not Be So Protected Say Smithsonian Scientists

A team of Smithsonian scientists joined more than 200 other researchers around the world to examine if giving protected status to a tropical forest offered adequate protection to the plants and animals within its borders. Read more

Other news

Smithsonian Zoogoer

Do you want to read more details on dholes, features on feathers, and salamander secrets? Read all about it in Smithsonian Zoogoer online! This bimonthly magazine is a benefit of being a member of Friends of the National Zoo! As a Friend of the National Zoo, you can also opt to join our Conservation and Research Club, which includes free admission to the Autumn Conservation Festival. 

Catch up on back issues of Smithsonian Zoogoer or Become a Friend of the National Zoo today

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The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute comprises six science centers that work together to ensure the survival or recovery of species and their habitats, and to ensure the health and well-being of animals in zoos and the wild.

For more information visit our website: nationalzoo.si.edu/SCBI/.

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Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

1500 Remount Road, Front Royal, VA 22630

3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008

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