Table of Contents

State of the Wild 2010–2011: A Global Portrait

With a special section, Wildlife Conservation in a Time of War

Foreword: Conservation and the Global Economic Recession

Ward Woods, Chairman of the Wildlife Conservation Society, shares his thoughts on how conservation organizations can strategically work through the recession.

Introduction: Future States of the Wild

Kent H. Redford, WCS Vice President for Conservation Strategies, asks how humanity's relationship to nature has changed.

Part I: State of the Wild

Wounded Wilderness

Gary Paul Nabhan, Professor at the University of Arizona and food and farming advocate, recalls an experience in Alaska that led him to investigate the global reach of airborne toxins.

Global Conservation News Highlights

The editors showcase recent conservation victories and losses across the globe.


Josh Ginsberg, WCS Senior Vice President and Catherine Grippo, WCS Institute, highlight new species discovered by biologists and recreational naturalists alike.

The Rarest of the Rare

The editors offer a catalogue of species that may be extinct in our lifetimes, offset by two restoration success stories.

Rarest Ecosystems

Patrick Comer, Chief Terrestrial Ecologist at NatureServe, describes the longleaf pine woodlands of North America and the Guyanan tepuis of South America.

Emerging Diseases and Conservation: An Update on One World-One Health

William B. Karesh, Vice President of WCS's Global Health Programs, explains the important intersection between the health of wildlife, domestic animals, ecosystems, and people, and why it should be considered in global development planning.

Champions of the Wild

The editors honor four conservation heroes.

Part II: Focus on the Wild

Wildlife Conservation in a Time of War

Conservation Amid War

Jeffrey A. McNeely, IUCN Senior Science Advisor, provides an overview of the many situations where conflict affects wildlife.

Conservation and Governance: Lessons from the Reconstruction Effort in Afghanistan

Peter Zahler, WCS-Asia, explains how international conservation organizations work with rural communities to build natural resource management capacity.

Marine Life in Times of Conflict

Callum M. Roberts, Professor at the University of York, illustrates the resilience of the underwater world, despite terrestrial battles.

Who Owns the Wild? Civil Conflict in Africa

Simon Anstey, ResourceAfrica, Fred Nelson, Maliasili Initiatives, and Liz Rihoy, Zeitz Foundation, demonstrate how government failure impacts wildlife management in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and how community involvement builds the foundations for both democracy and conservation.

Parks as Peace Makers: The Peru-Ecuador Divide

Virginia Rosas, world editor for El Diario in Peru, reveals the contribution scientists made to resolve a simmering border dispute in the biodiverse Cordillera del C—ndor region.

Part III: Emerging Issues in the Wild

Conservation of Wildlife

Vanishing Asian Turtles

Peter C. H. Pritchard, Director of the Chelonian Research Institute, highlights the diversity of freshwater turtles threatened by hunting and wildlife trade, and the hopes for captive breeding.

What Future for Forest Elephants?

Stephen Blake, Max Planck Institute of Ornithology, and Simon Hedges, WCS Asian Elephant Coordinator, outline the challenges of monitoring forest elephants in Asia and Africa, an issue made urgent by increasing habitat loss and poaching.

Restoration of the Guanaco, Icon of Patagonia

Andres J. Novaro, Director of WCS Patagonian and Andean Steppe Program, explains how the past century has severely altered the ecological function of the once-abundant guanaco in the Patagonian steppe and how large-scale restoration can be achieved.

Changing Flyways: Migratory Birds in a Warming World

Janice Wormworth, science writer, traces the journeys of migratory birds to posit how they will fare as ecosystems become disrupted by climate change.

Conservation of Wild Places

The Boreal Forest: Trouble in Canada's Great Wilderness

Peter Lee, Executive Director of Global Forest Watch Canada, shares the wonders of one of the planet's last intact forests, warning that industrial development is causing cumulative damage.

Inspiring Ocean Conservation

Claudio Campagna, WCS-Argentina, depicts the complex web of life in the seas and skies of the South Atlantic that we are only beginning to understand.

The Wild and the City

Steward T. A. Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, proves that the nature in the midst of urban areas provides benefits for wildlife and city dwellers alike.

Life Waters: Wetlands and Climate Change

Carmen Revenga, Senior Freshwater Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, and Max Finlayson, Director of the Institute for Land, Water, and Society, forecast how climate change will exacerbate the pressures that development has already placed on large wetlands.

Conservation Controversy: Can Paying for Ecosystem Services Save Biodiversity?

Will Stolzenburg, science writer, asks whether the trend of assigning monetary value to nature is a useful conservation tool or a risky concept.

The Art and Practice of Conservation

Faith, Hope, and Conservation

Martin Palmer, Alliance of Religions and Conservation, and Tony Whitten, Senior Biodiversity Specialist at the World Bank, outline how the world's major religions and conservation organizations can work together on the issues facing our planet.

Canine Detection Teams and Conservation

Megan Parker, WCS-North America, and Aimee Hurt, Working Dogs for Conservation, illustrate how remarkable 'sniffer dogs' help biologists find evidence of wild species in the field.

Agriculture and Wildlife in Europe

Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton, Equilibrium Research, explain the agricultural management techniques that can benefit wildlife.

The Dilemma of Confiscated Wildlife

Michael Hutchins, Executive Director of the Wildlife Society, describes the logistical challenges posed by animals confiscated from the illegal trade in wildlife, and the role of zoos in caring for them.

The Evolving Practice of Conservation in Rwanda

Bill Weber, conservation consultant and author, follows the development of conservation practices over the course of a long-term project to save mountain gorillas.

Final Thoughts

Safe Havens for Wildlife and People in Contested Holy Lands

Gary Nabhan and Michael L. Rosenzweig, professors at the University of Arizona, demonstrate the philosophy of 'reconciliation ecology' by describing multicultural conservation projects in the Middle East.


People across the globe are doing exemplary work in the field to save wildlife and wild places, but many of their stories go untold. These true conservation heroes are working against great odds to preserve the natural world for future generations.

Eco-guards of Chad

Though 17 state employees working with the Zakouma National Park Protection Unit have been killed by poachers since 1990, the unit's commitment to save the park's elephants remains strong.

Mark Higley

The wildlife biologist for northern California's Hoopa Valley Tribe, Higley has developed community-based management approaches to conserving his reservation's old-growth forests, carnivore populations, and other natural resources.

Yuri Melini

Founder of an environmental nonprofit in Guatemala, Melini works tirelessly to protect the country's Maya Biosphere Reserve–the largest protected area in Mesoamerica–from being overtaken by private interests such as resource extraction.

Habiba Sarabi

The first female governor of an Afghan province, Sarabi helped to establish Band-e-Amir National Park and works to ensure that the development of ecotourism goes hand in hand with the conservation of the landscape.