Conservation Organizations

In addition to zoological organizations, there are many other organizations dedicated to the preservation or management of wildlife and its related habitat.

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI)

HSWRI organization profile

Established in 1963 as a nonprofit research foundation, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI) is dedicated to understanding the ocean and its inhabitants in order to promote the wise use of marine resources.

HSWRI programs

Staff scientists study a variety of subjects, from sea turtles to killer whales (Orcinus orca). Ongoing research projects include investigations into methods of reducing the sound that attracts killer whales to longline fishing boats; the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP) for the restocking of the depleted white seabass (Cynoscion nobilis) and California halibut (Paralichtys californicus) populations off the California coast; satellite tracking of marine mammals to provide information on their location, dive behavior, and physiological functions; and population studies on all species of sea turtles.

Nature Conservancy

Nature Conservancy organization profile

The Nature Conservancy, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1951 for scientific and educational purposes. Its mission is "to preserve plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and water they need to survive." To date, the Nature Conservancy has been responsible for the protection of more than 6.3 million acres in the United States and Canada, and has partner organizations to preserve land in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Nature Conservancy owns more than 1,300 preserves, making it the largest private system of nature sanctuaries in the world.

Nature Conservancy programs

A key objective of Nature Conservancy programs is to integrate economic growth with environmental protection.

In California, the Conservancy teamed up with the California Rice Industry Association, the California Waterfowl Association, the Ducks Unlimited to create thousands of acres of temporary wetlands in the Sacramento Valley. The Conservancy hopes to flood rice fields during the winter for migrating waterfowl, then drain the water in spring. Farmers will discontinue burning off rice stubble in the winter (which causes significant air quality problems) and allow the crop remnants to biodegrade under water.

The Conservancy also launched the Natural Heritage Program and Conservation Data Center Network (the Heritage Network), a system that has resulted in the world's most comprehensive inventory of rare species and ecosystems. The network consists of 82 data centers (across the Western Hemisphere), operated by both public and private institutions. Each center employs experts to collect and organize information on local plants and animals. This information is stored in a communal computer system, which currently holds more than 400,000 records on various species. Of the more than 5,600 plants and animals identified as rare by the Heritage Network in the U.S., only about 8% have been listed under the Endangered Species Act.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

WWF organization profile

The WWF is the U.S. affiliate of the international WWF which has organizations in nearly 40 countries. WWF is the largest private organization working worldwide to protect endangered wildlife and its habitat. Since its formation in 1961, WWF has supported 2,068 projects in 116 countries and has spent over $62 million on conservation efforts. The organization is committed to "protecting natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species; and promoting sustainable approaches to the use of renewable natural resources and promoting more efficient use of resources and energy and the maximum reduction of pollution."

WWF programs

WWF has been a leader in African conservation since 1962. Its efforts include training park guards, funding anti poaching campaigns, and sponsoring ecologically sound community development programs.

WWF has worked in Asia for over 30 years on projects to save endangered species. They arranged the Philippines' first debt-for-nature swap. They're working with the United Nations, the World Bank, and Papua New Guinea's top conservation officials to create a conservation trust fund to preserve New Guinea's forests and wildlife.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, WWF is concentrating its efforts on field work, research, and action grants. Its programs in this region include the Caribbean Coral Reef Initiative, Trust Fund for Conservation in Guatemala, and the Mexico Ecodevelopment Program.