The search for The Wildlife Society logo began in 1937, when the first issue of The Journal of Wildlife Management was being created. Editor W. L. McAtee wanted “a simple, well-composed design” with “representations of all the important elements involved in the wildlife field” (McAtee 1937). Finding that task “impossible,” he requested a study of symbols and pictorial writing by aboriginal Americans. Yet those symbols did not adequately represent the inter-connectedness of animals, plants, and other elements of the ecosystem.
The secretary of TWS, Victor Cahalane, thought that Egyptian hieroglyphics might be a possibility, so J. E. Lodge, curator of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., provided photographs of several relevant symbols that represented beasts, birds, fishes, and flowering plants. National Park Service artist Walter Weber then reproduced the chosen symbols in a pen and ink drawing—and the logo was born.
Since then, the logo has changed very little, except for the 1977 addition of the words “The Wildlife Society” within an L-shaped frame. The logo has adorned all TWS publications, been adapted by subunits, and been made into pins to honor Society notables such as past presidents, honorary members, and TWS fellows. Despite suggestions in recent years to design a new logo, Council has always chosen to uphold this piece of our history, which is as old as the Society itself.