There is a human dimension to every WildCRU project and without the commitment and cooperation of local people, conservation is virtually impossible. We engage in education, community involvement and practical action to deliver Research Plus
Our research branches out from our core expertise in the natural sciences to embrace the social sciences. We collaborate with other world-leading scientists and influential NGOs in areas such as public health, economics and sustainable development. Crucially, we monitor all of our research projects to verify progress and quality.
Our Research Plus activities include engagement in citizen science, involving volunteers within a partnership between WildCRU and Earthwatch. We have run an award-winning programme involving recovering drug addicts in field projects, theatre groups to communicate our message to local people in Zimbabwe and Sulawesi, Nature Clubs in Ethiopia, and an education programme in schools in Brazil. In the communal farmlands of Zimbabwe we operate a snare-cutting and anti-poaching patrol, and nearby members of our team operate the Painted Dog education centre that welcomes 600 school children annually.
WildCRU also engages with the business community and with governments, contributing evidence and advice to the development, implementation and evaluation of environmental policy. We have been involved in various high-level government reports, for example the Burns Report into hunting with dogs in the UK. Internationally, David Macdonald chaired the Darwin Initiative (the UK’s response to the Rio Convention on Biodiversity); nationally he chaired Natural England’s Science Advisory Committee.