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The Roosevelt Museum of Natural History opened its doors in 1867.Among its first specimens was the skull of a seal that had washed up in New York Harbor, begged from its owner by the museum's founder, eight year old Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
In the pages of his magazine, Grinnell had called for scientific forest management, clean water, and restricted use of natural resources-ideas considered quite radical by most Americans.
Under Roosevelt and Grinnell, the Boone and Crockett Club would support these concepts, not only promoting the enjoyment of hunting, but the study and preservation of game animals and their habitats.
In March, 1903, Roosevelt visited Pelican Island in Florida, a nesting ground for numerous shorebirds.
At the time, demand for plumes for women's hats had decimated shorebird populations, and Roosevelt was well aware of the danger of massive extinction.
If young Roosevelt's collection methods seemed bloody and cruel, he merely followed the accepted practices of the leading naturalists of the time.
Killing was the only way to make extremely accurate observations about the physical characteristics of unfamiliar animals.Fortunately, forward-thinking sportsmen began to organize for the conservation of game and game habitat.Theodore Roosevelt, an avid hunter, joined the fight.When mining and railroad interests threatened to seriously damage the park, Boone and Crockett rose to the defense.With editorials, speaking engagements, and furious lobbying among Washington's rich and powerful, the B & C succeeded.In Vienna, where the family traveled after leaving Egypt, Roosevelt turned his hotel room into a virtual zoological laboratory, much to the dismay of the cousin who shared his lodgings.At Harvard, where he studied natural history, Roosevelt similarly outfitted his off-campus apartment and continued collecting.While written in a childish hand, the notebooks in which young Roosevelt logged his studies reflected the zeal with which he pursued Nature.They contained complete descriptions of the animals collected, including size, sex, place and date collected, habits, and even stomach contents.Teedie collected everything within his reach and range of vision, and begged friends and family to bring him any specimens they found.He even paid other children to collect specimens for him. In 1871, he donated several specimens to another fledgling museum -- the American Museum of Natural History, which had been co-founded by his father.