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Latest News

“State of the Birds” Report Assesses the Health of the Nation’s Birds

September 9, 2014

One hundred years after the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups have come together to publish The State of the Birds 2014—the most comprehensive review of long-term trend data for U.S. birds ever conducted. The authors call the results unsettling. The report finds bird populations declining across several key habitats, and it includes a “watch list” of bird species in need of immediate conservation help. The report also reveals, however, that in areas where a strong conservation investment has been made, bird populations are recovering.

Recent News

National Zoo Opens American Bison Exhibit in Honor of 125th Anniversary

August 27, 2014

In honor of its 125th anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is once again home to American bison, the animal that began the Zoo’s living collection in 1889 and sparked the conservation movement. The American Bison exhibit, sponsored by Continental Building Products, opens to the public Saturday, Aug. 30.

Media Advisory: National Zoo to Announce Names of American Bison

August 25, 2014

Media preview and name reveal of the National Zoo’s two female American bison. The American Bison Exhibit opens to the public Aug. 30 .

Smithsonian's National Zoo Celebrates Giant Panda Bao Bao's First Birthday

August 23, 2014

The National Zoo and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China celebrated giant panda cub Bao Bao’s first birthday this morning with a Zhuazhou (dra-JO) ceremony.

Red Panda Dies at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

August 18, 2014

A female red panda, Shama, was euthanized at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., Saturday, Aug. 16. A necropsy performed later that evening revealed severe cerebral edema (swelling of the brain). Based on preliminary cytology, the swelling is attributed to encephalitis associated with a microscopic parasite.

Smithsonian & SVF Biodiversity Preservation Project Launched

July 24, 2014

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the SVF Foundation announced July 23 the launch of the "Smithsonian & SVF Biodiversity Preservation Project" to strengthen rare and endangered livestock breed conservation through the preservation and study of frozen germplasm (semen and embryos), cell lines and other biomaterials from rare heritage breeds of food and fiber livestock.

National Zoo Humanely Euthanizes Elderly Macaque

July 17, 2014

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo humanely euthanized its last Sulawesi macaque, a 27-year-old male named Spock, this morning. The median lifespan for this species is about 18 years.

Four Litters of Red Panda Cubs Born at SCBI

July 2, 2014

All four red panda pairs at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., successfully bred and had cubs this year. Of the 10 cubs, more born at SCBI than any other year, seven have survived.

Public Debut of Asian Elephants Maharani, Kamala and Swarna on Elephant Trails at Smithsonian's National Zoo

June 23, 2014

The National Zoo’s three new female Asian elephants—Kamala (39), Swarna (39) and Maharani (23)—made their public debut in one of the outdoor yards on Elephant Trails for the first time Monday, June 23. After arriving at the Zoo May 23, the elephants spent 30 days in quarantine per standard procedure. On loan from the Calgary Zoo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, they will join the Zoo’s herd of four Asian elephants: females Ambika (66), Shanthi (39), Bozie (38) and male Kandula (12).