WildCRU’s research is both scientifically original and of practical value. As we strive towards our 2020 Vision, our aim is to continue solving problems for the benefit of wildlife, people and the environment.
The field of wildlife conservation is evolving fast. Biology remains essential, but is no longer sufficient in isolation. Human development and related environmental and social studies are increasingly part of the equation. WildCRU’s Vision, and strategic plan to be implemented by 2020, aims to combine the lessons of the past with foresight for the future.
WildCRU’s 2020 Vision will build on our foundation of empirical, fact finding fieldwork, both in the UK and overseas, nurturing long-term studies and catalysing portfolios of linked projects. We will intensify our interdisciplinarity, and continue to pursue our essential trinity of empiricism, scholarship and dissemination, using research as a platform for influencing policy and education. Major topics of the past will remain central: rarity, conflict, invasives and disease, in each case focusing especially on wild felids. They will be joined by new science priorities:
- Restoring biodiversity in degraded environments across the globe.
- Safeguarding threatened populations – Increasing human pressure means that already threatened wildlife must be protected if it is to survive to enhance the quality of life of future generations. This will often be about linking habitats and, internationally, trans-frontier collaborations. Innovative private land use will be essential.
- Integrating an understanding of carbon dynamics and ecosystem services – linking biodiversity conservation and energy policy, with an eye to ever changing demographics (climate change being an aggravating factor on the evil quartet of habitat loss, persecution, invasives and disease).
- Quantifying the welfare implications of biodiversity conservation – both in terms of the welfare of wildlife subject to management, and the health and well-being benefits for people of engagement with nature (using, for example, new physiological methods of quantifying stress, developed by WildCRU).
Oxford University, and personally its Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, are committed to WildCRU’s 2020 Vision. However, we are entirely dependent on grants from research councils and government bodies and donations from charitable trusts, companies and individuals.
To learn more about how you might help WildCRU to deliver our 2020 vision click here or ‘support us’ in the links above.