50 years of BBC Wildlife Magazine

Welcome to our 50th birthday zone, where you can join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of BBC Wildlife Magazine. 

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50 years of BBC Wildlife logo.

Welcome to our 50th birthday zone, where you can join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of BBC Wildlife Magazine. 

Momentous changes were afoot in 1963. Kenya gained independence and JFK was shot. In Britain, it was the year that started with the Great Freeze; the Beatles released their first album; our railways were damned by the Beeching report; the BBC broadcast the first episode of Doctor Who; and the first issue of Animals was published.

That last is key, because issues published over the intervening five decades comprise a detailed chronicle of the pivotal changes in our understanding of the natural world. Mysteries have been solved, species found, lost and redefined, truths revealed and ideas about conservation transformed.

To celebrate our birthday, we put the past 50 years under the microscope, reviewing highlights from the magazine and developments in British conservation, and revealing the most surprising species discovered – reminders that there remains much still to learn about life on Earth.

Admire our most sensational (and surprising!) covers and more groundbreaking wildlife images below, and read a selection of your fondest memories of the magazine.

 

Weird and wonderful wildlife covers

Key moments in the history of BBC Wildlife Magazine

Your fondest memories of the magazine

The most important wildlife images from the past 50 years

50 new species found in the past 50 years

 

© BBC Wildlife Magazine

Your fondest memories of the magazine

Thank you to all our readers who took the time to write into us. You can read some of their great letters here.

 

© BBC Wildlife Magazine

Weird wildlife covers of the past 50 years

There have certainly been some very strange wildlife covers over the last 50 years as Animals developed into BBC Wildlife. We've chosen our favourite 12 for you to enjoy, from Bigfoot to plankton, and even a head louse. 

 

© BBC Wildlife Magazine

Wonderful wildlife covers of the past 50 years

After much deliberation we've narrowed down our 12 favourite wildlife covers that featured truly amazing species and inspiring cover lines over the years, from a cute stoat to an energetic hare, and eye-to-eye with a zebra. 

 

© BBC Wildlife Magazine/Jim Brandenburg

The most important wildlife images of the past 50 years

Wildlife photography has always been at the heart of BBC Wildlife so we've selected the most significant images printed in the magazine, which reflect some of the key stories from the past 50 years.

 

© BBC Wildlife Magazine

Key moments in the history of BBC Wildlife Magazine

Explore a potted history of Animals to BBC Wildlife in our timeline, plus read Sophie's selection of significant landmarks and highlights.

 

© BBC Wildlife Magazine

50 new species found in the past 50 years

The past five decades have seen the scientific debuts of thousands of ‘new’ animals and plants. Here we present 50 of the most fascinating discoveries in part 1 and part 2.

 

Don't miss the This Month In... section of BBC Wildlife Magazine throughout 2013 where we will be revealing the hot topics covered by the magazine in the past and examining how the issues have evolved over the years. 

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