June 26, 2003 by

Richard Pough

1 comment

Categories: Scientists, Writers/Editors

Richard Hooper Pough, an ornithologist, conservationist and author, died on June 25 of brain cancer. He was 99.
During the Great Depression, Pough visited Hawk Mountain, a site in Pennsylvania where hunters could shoot goshawks for $5/head. He was horrified to see the predatory birds slaughtered en masse, and took photographs of the hundreds of carcasses lying on the forest floor. One of these pictures caught the eye of Rosalie Edge, who then leased the 1,400 acres around Hawk Mountain. She installed a warden on the property, and opened the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary to the public.
Pough worked for the National Audubon Society from 1936 to 1948, documenting rare birds as a “roving warden,” and wrote a series of popular bird guides.
In 1950, Pough and other scientists founded the Nature Conservancy, which has become one of the world’s largest land conservation groups. Pough also spent eight years as chairman of the conservation and general ecology department at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

One Response to Richard Pough

  1. robert h. boyle

    I met Dick Pough 40 years ago and circa 1964 or 65 wrote about his land saving work in the greater NY area in Sports Illustrated. Some years later, I wrote a long piece about Dick for SI and then in 1994 wrote an Outdoors column about him for The New York Times. I was among those in the Storm King battle, and Dick was of tremendous help there. I only learned about his death today. He was a great man.

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