Since our founding in 1895, WCS scientists have been discovering how nature works. Our scientists–now over 170 PhDs and DVMs–produce and disseminate the information and knowledge necessary to inform and improve conservation.

Our science guides management action in the wild places we seek to conserve, and influences conservation policy at the local, national, and global levels.

Our Goal

Generate and share our conservation-oriented science to inform and improve conservation strategies, practices, and policies at the local, national, regional, and global scale.

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

Our Strategies

Focused Scientific Output

We target our science on the most important issues, present and future, that affect the conservation of our landscapes, seascapes, priority species, and the management and care of wildlife in our collections.

In the landscapes and seascapes where we work, we monitor the effectiveness of our conservation actions through five key measures: (1) wildlife populations; (2) habitat integrity; (3) management capacity and law enforcement; (4) natural resource governance; and (5) quality of human life.

We focus on practical science that tells us where and how to save wildlife and wild places in ways that help governments meet their national and international obligations and that strengthen the rights, economies, and cultural identities of our indigenous, First Nations, traditional, and local community partners.

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS


WCS has partnered with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) to create Science for Nature and People (SNAP)—a new scientific collaboration that is taking on key questions that uncover approaches to benefit nature and humankind, especially the planet's poorest and most marginalized people.

Build Scientific Capacity

We use targeted collaborations with key scientists, universities, and conservation organizations to foster learning and the sharing of scientific resources and information.

Through our partnerships, on-the-ground training, graduate scholarships, and field support we help build the next generation of global conservation science leaders.

Develop Science-Based Tools for Conservation

We produce cutting-edge technological advances that are widely disseminated and freely available to advance efforts critical to meeting our global conservation goals.

WCS has been instrumental in the development and adoption of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART)—a combination of open-source computer software and training materials designed to help local authorities in protected areas bridge the gap against sophisticated poachers.

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