The New York Times/1877/11/15/American Acclimatization Society

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The New York Times, 15th November, 1877
American Acclimatization Society


Tho regular meeting of the American Acclimatization Society was held last evening in the reading-room of the Aquarium, the use of which had been given for the purpose. Mr. Eugene Schiefflin occupied the chair, and Dr. J. W. Greene acted as Secretary. Among the gentlemen present were Messrs. Robert B. Roosevelt, of the Fish Commission; John C. Pennington, of New Jersey; Eugene Keteltas, John G. Milis, Edward Schell, S. R. Bunce, Edgar De Puyster, Wilson De Puyster, Mr. Conklin, of the Central Park Museum, and others. Mr. Conklin read a paper on acclimatization, with special reference to birds. He detailed the efforts made this country to introduce foreign birds. In 1864, he said, the Commissioners of Central Park set free 50 pairs of English sparrows, and they had multiplied amazingly; Mr. Joshua Jones had freed English chaffinches, blackbirds, and Java sparrows in the Park, but unfortunately their numbers were so small the birds were lost sight of; in 1874, Mr. Henry Reiche set loose 50 pairs of English skylarks, but they all crossed the East River, and settled near Newtown and Canarsie. The Cincinnati Acclimatization Society had successfully introduced the skylark there, and it was now becoming abundant in the neighborhood of the city. Last July the Acclimatization Society freed in the Park some starlings and Japanese finches; Mr. John Sutherland had done the same with some English pheasants. It was expected that they would all prosper. Mr. Conklin suggested that renewed and organized efforts should be made to acclimatize the English titmouse, chaffinch, blackbird, robin redbreast, and the skylark—birds which were useful to the farmer and contributed to the beauty of the groves and fields. Mr. Robert Roosevelt read an interesting paper on the acclimatization of fish, in which he pointed out that we had little to do in the way of importing fishes from foreign countries, because there were scarcely any kinds useful as food or otherwise which we had not here in equal if not greater perfection. He showed that our efforts should be mainly directed to distributing the best of our own fishes through all the waters of the continent, and spoke of what had been done in this way with shad and salmon. The Oswego bass, he thought, was deserving of extensive propagation; but particularly spoke of the landlocked salmon of Maine and Canada, and the California brook trout. The latter fish he considered one of the best which swam in American waters, and was convinced that it would well repay the trouble of propagation here.