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Wildlife Conservation Network

non-profit organization
HQ: San Francisco, CA USA
Charity Navigator Score: 100

Wildlife Conservation Network's (WCN) mission is to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive. We send 100% of designated donations directly to the field for use in conserving the species on the ground.

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Our Story

WCN was built on the premise that one person can truly make a difference for wildlife. Independent wildlife conservationists have the power to ensure a future for wildlife by developing new solutions and working closely with communities to save endangered animals. In order to succeed, these wildlife heroes need funding to run their programs and assistance to build their organizations and ensure their efforts are scalable and sustainable.

WCN partners with leading independent wildlife conservationists, providing them with an array of services and training in areas such as marketing, accounting, and strategic planning. WCN also creates connections to donors who can make these conservationists’ work possible.


Wildlife around the world is increasingly threatened. Historically, one out of every one million species became extinct each year; since the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800’s, this rate of extinction has increased rapidly. Recent studies have shown that rates of extinction are currently 10 to 100 times higher than normal and that the world is on the brink of a sixth mass extinction, the first since the time of the dinosaurs.

The presence of wildlife in our world is a treasure, one that we will never be able to reclaim if it disappears.

Current Projects

▸ Field Conservationists

Our Conservation Partners are among the best and most passionate wildlife conservationists in the world, and have extraordinary backgrounds in research and conservation. We support Partners working on a variety of wildlife species in vastly different environments; on land in places like the African savannah, Central Asian mountains, Latin American forests, as well as in our oceans. Such partners include Save the Elephants—a long-term protector of elephants and a leading voice and advocate for elephants—and MarAlliance—working to protect sharks and rays and conducting some of the most cutting edge research on little known marine wildlife.

Our Partners include:

▸ Crisis and Recovery Funds

WCN's cutting-edge range-wide species funds support the best ideas to end extinction threats and bring wildlife back from the brink.

In 2013, facing a massive elephant poaching crisis, WCN launched the Elephant Crisis Fund with partner Save the Elephants to stop elephant poaching and the trafficking and demand for ivory.

With half of Africa’s lions now gone, WCN launched the Lion Recovery Fund with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 2017 to bring lions back. Through strategic investments and collaboration with donors, the Lion Recovery Fund is committed to seeing Africa’s people and its lions coexist.

▸ Elephant Crisis Fund

Africa’s elephants could disappear from much of the wild within a generation.

A devastating poaching epidemic is threatening these iconic creatures. Driving the killing is a complex, international ivory trade that thrives on poverty, corruption, and greed.

Scientists, conservation organizations, and governments have united behind a common strategy to end this crisis. We must:

  • Stop the Killing of Elephants
  • Stop the Trafficking of Ivory
  • Stop Ivory Demand

The Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF) was created by Save the Elephants and WCN to fuel this coalition—supporting the best ideas to end the ivory crisis. The ECF fosters collaboration, and delivers rapid impact on the ground. Since its inception, the ECF has raised over $20 million and has funded over 255 projects across 36 countries to stop elephant poaching and the trafficking and demand for ivory.

The Elephant Crisis Fund has but one goal: to end the ivory crisis.

▸ Lion Recovery Fund

Lions are in crisis. In just 25 years, lion populations have declined by half.

But, lions can return.

WCN launched the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) in 2017 in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. This innovative Fund serves as an additional and separate WCN investment vehicle for range-wide lion conservation, alongside the courageous, impactful lion conservation work of our Network Partners Ewaso Lions and Niassa Lion Project who work tirelessly on-the-ground with communities to reduce human-lion conflict, and to protect and manage lion landscapes.

The Lion Recovery Fund invests in the most effective projects aimed at recovering lions across Africa—backing several key tactics such as supporting the parks and reserves that serve as lion strongholds and promoting co-existence so that people can live alongside and benefit from lions.

The LRF is moving swiftly to convene conservationists and other institutions to address the threats to lions and ensure the King of Beasts can thrive across Africa.

Lion recovery is within our grasp.

▸ Conservation Acceleration

WCN accelerates the conservation impact of field conservationists by helping them build skills and by providing them with technical assistance. These services include strategic planning, marketing, and accounting as well as graduate scholarship support, training workshops, and access to short term support. WCN also brings our conservationists together with passionate wildlife supporters at our annual Wildlife Conservation Expo. We invite guest speakers to participate and feature over 40 organizations that exhibit at Expo each year. This educational event helps inform the public of conservation challenges and innovative solutions implemented by some of the world’s most successful wildlife conservationists.

Fundraising Goal: $20,000

WCN hopes to raise funds to continue needed support to their partner conservation organizations. 

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Field Locations

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Snapshot of Wildlife We Protect