The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit
The planet’s human population increases by more than 200,000 people every day. This exerts 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.
You take the high road and I’ll take the low road: David Macdonald reports on a WildCRU collaborative study that reveals that Scottish badgers favour warmer lowland sites, but avoid human infrastructureApril 20, 2017
The WildCRU’s ever-growing portfolio of work on climate change, led by Chris Newman, has shown that badger population dynamics and behaviour respond sensitively to trends and variability in ...
Leopards along borders: Leopards are notoriously difficult to study, and doubtless that is particularly true of the rare Persian leopard, the subspecies being studied by WildCRU’s Mohammad Farhadinia. David Macdonald reports on the publication of new radio-tracking data on these elusive felids which have lost 84% of their former range in the regionApril 18, 2017
Working in partnership with Panthera, in 2014 we launched the first comprehensive telemetry study on Persian leopard in north-eastern Iran, near the Turkmenistan border. This is part of ...
One of the most controversial wildlife issues in the UK today is the role of badgers in the transmission of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). A cross-disciplinary Oxford research team (led by David Macdonald and Adrian Smith) have identified badger-specific features of the immune response that may underpin badger susceptibility to bTB. Some of the results of this study also identify avenues that may be useful to boost the response to vacating badgers.April 18, 2017
Attempts to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle cost the UK taxpayer c. £99 m/annum (2013–14), yet the problem continues to worsen. The benefits of culling ...