William G. Conway

Dr. William G. Conway (born 1929) is an American zoologist, ornithologist and conservationist who began his career with the St. Louis Zoo. He joined the New York Zoological Society in 1956 as assistant curator of birds. He was later promoted to director of the society, and then became president of it in 1992 when it was reconfigured into the Wildlife Conservation Society. He retired as president in 1999 and retained the title of senior conservationist.[1]

William G. Conway
NationalityUnited States
Known forDirector General/President Emeritus of the Wildlife Conservation Society

During his tenure, Conway was responsible for modernizing the animal exhibits at the Bronx Zoo and he also introduced new attractions, including the World of Darkness exhibit in 1969 and the World of Birds exhibit in 1974.[1] Conway was a proponent of zoological exhibition of animals in a setting that recreated the environment from which the species originated.[2]

Conway successfully negotiated the society's acquisition of the Central Park Zoo from the New York City municipal government in 1981, which resulted in an extensive renovation program for the attraction so it could meet modern zoological exhibition requirements.[3]

Conway has also been in the forefront of promoting captive breeding programs for endangered species. He was responsible for creating the Wildlife Propagation Trust in 1964, that resulted in the coordination of zoos to pursue the twin goals of preserving at-risk species and eventually reintroducing animals back to the wild.[4]

Conway was also responsible for leading the development of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association accreditation program. He has authored more than 250 articles and reports relating to wildlife conservation, ornithology, wild animal care propagation and ecological preservation.

In 1999, the National Audubon Society awarded Conway its highest honor, the Audubon Medal.

Conway appeared on the May 7, 1962 episode of "To Tell The Truth." [5]


  1. David Hancocks (2002). A Different Nature: The Paradoxical World of Zoos and Their Uncertain Future. University of California Press. p. 105. ISBN 0-520-23676-9.
  2. Elizabeth Hanson (2002). Animal Attractions: Nature on Display in American Zoos. Princeton University Press. pp. 176–7. ISBN 0-691-05992-6.
  3. Robert Beninder (Summer 1993). "It's All Happening at the Zoo". City Journal. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
  4. "Survival Centers for Rare Animals". Life Magazine. August 21, 1964. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
  5. ""To Tell the Truth" Episode dated 7 May 1962". Internet Movie Database.
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