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:


Ignoring species hybrids in the IUCN Red List assessments for African elephants may bias conservation policy

June 11, 2021

WildCRU’s Hans Bauer and Claudio Sillero, working with West African colleagues, reacted to the recent publication of IUCN Red List assessments for savanna and forest elephants, ... Read full story

Buzzards, too much of a good thing and the future of Britain’s countryside

June 10, 2021

Almost fifty years have passed since WildCRU’s David Macdonald and CEH’s Robert Kenward, both at the time studying predators under the supervision of Hans Kruuk at Oxford, became ... Read full story

WildCRU’s Eric Ash reveals insights, opportunities, and challenges for the conservation of tigers in an understudied landscape through his DPhil research

June 8, 2021

Catastrophic population declines threaten the under-studied and Endangered Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) with extinction. With potential extirpation of tigers from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam, driven by ... Read full story

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