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 Biology, 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:


WildCRU 2023 Impact Report now available


“Science and conservation action are deeply entwined within WildCRU's DNA, with each informing the other to understand and tackle some of the most challenging issues facing biodiversity today”, ... Read full story

Moving from Tubney House to the new Life and Mind Building in October 2025


Nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside, Tubney House has been the headquarters of WildCRU for 20 years since 2004, representing more than half of our history. When our founder ... Read full story

Identifying and assessing survey methods for estimating lion population abundance


Understanding the population status of a species is vital for their conservation. Over the last two decades, multiple methods for surveying lion (Panthera leo) populations have been designed ... Read full story

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