The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit

The planet’s human population increases by more than 200,000 people every day. At the same time, global consumption and inequality are rising. As a result, our planetary footprint is unsustainable, with ever more severe and intensifying pressure on finite natural resources throughout the world. The resulting environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change destroys nature and impacts human well-being. The mission of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) is to achieve practical solutions to conservation problems through original scientific research. Our research is used worldwide to advise environmental policy-makers. The need for our efforts is greater than ever.

Part of the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, WildCRU is a pioneering, inter-disciplinary research unit in a world-class academic centre. We underpin solutions to conservation problems through primary scientific research of the highest calibre. Our approach is empirical, interdisciplinary and collaborative, seeking to include all four elements of our “Conservation Quartet” research to understand and address the problem; education to explain it; community involvement to ensure participation and acceptance; and implementation of long-term solutions.

Video narrated by Prof David Macdonald. Created by, and used with the kind permission of United for Wildlife:


Connecting the global trade in donkey hide to wildlife conservation

May 13, 2021

By Shan Su and Ewan Macdonald Global wildlife trade is a key driver of biodiversity loss and impacts at least 20% of vertebrate species including charismatic ... Read full story

Leopard population density varies across habitats and management strategies in a mixed-use Tanzanian landscape

May 11, 2021

Protected areas across sub-Saharan Africa are becoming increasingly isolated as a result of human pressures, and many have failed to mitigate human-induced threats to mammal populations. As a ... Read full story

Hedgehog Awareness Week

May 2, 2021

In 2020 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List for British Mammals classified the European hedgehog as “vulnerable to extinction”. For Hedgehog Awareness Week our Research ... Read full story

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