What We Do

Restoring Nature

Palms, Primates, and People

The first step was to teach the people harvesting how to climb trees to reach the fruit rather than cutting them down.

Grevy’s Zebra Trust Holistic Range Management

Human communities that share Kenya’s northern rangelands have deep pastoralist roots and have grazed domestic livestock in balance with wildlife in the harsh, dry, yet rich and biodiverse Kenyan rangelands for many generations.

Shrubs for Kangaroo Rats and Pocket Mice

Tiny rodents make a big difference to their ecosystem.

Documenting Diversity in the Ebo Forest

For more than a decade, San Diego Zoo Global’s Central Africa Program has been working with a team of passionate people to document and conserve the riches of the robust Ebo forest.

Insect Biodiversity, Citizen Scientists, and Conserving Our Backyard

We need your help! If you are entomologically inclined (or less formally, a bug nut, like myself), we have some great opportunities for you to learn about the greatest component of biological diversity in our incredibly diverse county – the insects!

Cultural Revitalization and Biodiversity Conservation

Even less known is that culturally, San Diego county retains the highest number of Native American Reservations of any county across the country.

Completing the Peruvian Palm Picture Project

San Diego Zoo Global has an ongoing project with the Maijuna indigenous people managing the fruit harvest of aguaje palms.

Seeing the Tropical Deciduous Forest for the Trees

Tropical deciduous forests (also called tropical dry forests) are extremely rare ecosystems.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

This work involves documenting what plant species cattle and elk prefer to eat and what species they avoid, while at the same time monitoring forest regeneration following fire in forest plots with different densities of cattle and elk.

Digging into Burrowing Owl Recovery

In an effort to restore these protected lands, we’ve been bringing in California ground squirrels, a “keystone” species that helps engineer the grassland ecosystem.

Connections Between Nature, Art, Culture and Conservation

The connections between nature and culture are seen clearly in Native American art forms, such as basket weaving. Traditional weaving is wholly dependent on upon the native plants and resources found in natural ecosystems.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

Scientists with the Institute for Conservation Research initiated a collaborative research effort to better understand the ecology of this important ecosystem and how it can be managed and support the needs of local communities who rely on resources from the forest for their livelihoods.

What’s that Smelt? Saving San Francisco Bay Delta Native Fishes

However, there is one problem: many fish hatcheries may actually do more harm than good when they reintroduce captive fish back into the wild.

Watching for Wiliwilis

In 2005, an unwanted guest hitched a ride to the Islands; a tiny insect called the Erythrina gall wasp (EGW). It invaded Hawaii and decimated thousands of native and non-native Erythrina trees and left others with leaves gnarled and misshapen.

Whooo is Saving the Burrowing Owl?

After nearly two years of planning and brainstorming, the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is launching a new program focused on burrowing owls and their habitat right here in San Diego County.

Mountain Yellow-legged Frog Recovery Program

At the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research winter does not officially arrive until all of the southern mountain yellow-legged frogs Rana muscosa are tucked into their hibernation chambers.

Palila in Peril

Mamane forest is critical habitat for the Palila Loxioides bailleui, a species of Hawaiian honeycreeper for whom the seedpods of the Mamane provide a vital food source.

Home on the Range: The Comeback of Pronghorn

Future pronghorn conservation goals include continuing captive breeding, reintroduction, education, habitat protection, and development of improved husbandry and medical protocols.

Andean Condor Recovery in Colombia: Celebrating Decades of Success

Twenty-one years after the first experimental release of 4 endangered, zoo-hatched male Andean condors in the Colombian Andes, we must take a moment to reflect on the successful release of more than 60 zoo birds released in five locations in the high-plains of the South American massif. 

Conservation of Caribbean Iguanas

The islands of the Caribbean support 11 species of large herbivorous lizards in the family Iguanidae, commonly called iguanas.  Ten of these iguana species are endemic to the Caribbean, which is to say they are found nowhere else on earth. 

Turtles in India Get Head Start

Since its inception in 2005, the Indian Turtle Conservation Program has expanded greatly to better aid in the recovery India’s imperiled turtles. Originally, a single species conservation project, this program has now become a larger multi-species program.

Managing Mentors and Other Meaty Matters

Two perspectives on California condor conservation from scientists at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

Channel Islands Dialed into Conservation

Humans have been visiting, living, fishing, and ranching these islands for almost 13,000 years.

Desert Tortoise Conservation Heating Up

The Mojave desert tortoise is a threatened species living right here in the Mojave Desert, just a stone’s throw from the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

“Urine” for a Surprise with Conservation of Kangaroo Rats

Last summer, we tested whether placing mountain lion scent on a kangaroo rat release site would reduce visitation on this site by medium sized predators that prey on kangaroo rats compared to a control site with no

Light-footed Clapper Rail Making a Comeback

The past year was very successful in the ongoing efforts of conserving the endangered light-footed clapper rail.

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