8. The Sanford Hall of North American Birds Contributed To The Conservationist Movement

Bird diorama at the AMNH

The Sanford Hall of North American Birds is currently home to over 20 dioramas of bird species. Its construction actually played a big role in furthering the conservationist cause and even helped lead to a major refuge and treaty.

At the time of the hall’s construction, plume-hunting for the hat making industry forced many coastal bird species, such as the great egret, to near extinction. Frank Chapman made dioramas to allow visitors to see the magnificent bird species in decline because of the hat industry.

The awareness sparked by these dioramas, along with Chapman’s actions outside of the Museum of Natural History, helped lead to the establishment of refuges like the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, a federal law that helped protect migratory birds.