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:


An update from the Cheetah Conservation Project Zimbabwe

May 19, 2022

Cheetah populations are racing towards extinction across much of Africa, but in Zimbabwe their current status is unknown. The last major cheetah census was carried out in 2015, ... Read full story

Research finds that donkey skins may act as a cover for illegal wildlife trade

May 11, 2022

Published by Saïd Business School news. "Newly published research raises important concerns about whether the trade in donkey skins is being used as a cover for smuggling ... Read full story

‘Strawberry’ leopard caught on camera in Tanzania

May 3, 2022

Today on #WorldLeopardDay we wanted to highlight some of our exciting work on leopards in East Africa. Across the region, we use remotely triggered bush cameras (camera traps) ... Read full story

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