Simla Field Research Station

The William Beebe Tropical Research Station (WBTRS), also known as Simla, is in the Arima valley of Trinidad’s Northern Range. The AWNC maintains the field station as an active tropical research facility. The field station’s properties currently consist of 211 acres with good road access to the national road network. Additionally, more than 1,000 acres of the adjoining AWNC are also available for certain research activities. 

The station was formerly the New York Zoological Society’s Tropical Research Station. A family estate, it was originally purchased by Dr. William Beebe in 1949, which he renamed “Simla” after India’s charming “summer capital” in the Himalayan Mountains which he visited during his research that resulted in his monumental four-volume “A Monograph of the Pheasants.” In 1953 he donated the estate to the New York Zoological Society, now the Wildlife Conservation Society, for establishment of the Tropical Research Station.


Beebe was an American scientist, adventurer and author, and is considered by many to be “the father of Neotropical Ecology.” He first visited Trinidad in 1908 and became enamored with the country’s wildlife.

The New York Zoological Society supported the field station until the 1970s, and during this period it became an important hub for the study of Neotropical ecology, botany, entomology, ornithology, herpetology, as well as bats, fishes, and fiddler crabs.

Simla was donated to the Asa Wright Nature Centre in 1975 because the New York Zoological Society considered the missions of both entities to closely parallel each other.  

The AWNC continues to operate the Simla field research station.

Beebe and Conway at Simla

Painting of William Beebe


Researchers interested in staying at the Simla field research station should submit the following to 


Accommodation and Amenities

Visitors must provide their own:


We reserve the right to amend these rates at any time.

AccommodationUS dollars
per person/nightper person/week
Researcher (Snr) / Professional $ 40  $ 240 
Researcher Jnr / Teacher $ 35  $ 210 
Student $ 25  $ 150 
Less than group of 10US dollars
Pre and post cleaning $ 100
Weekly cleaning (once per wk) $ 50
Refundable Deposit $ 150 
More than group of 10US dollars
Pre and post cleaning $ 200
Weekly cleaning (once per wk) $ 100
Refundable Deposit $ 300
If the entire field research station is booked (i.e. all 23 beds)10% discount applied to the accommodation costs
Long Stays (more than 3 months)10% discount applied to accommodation costs after 3 months
Private Room (accommodation only)All beds in the room must be booked
International wire transfer feeUS $80