The effects of climate change and human activity have already caused great damage to global biodiversity and habitats, but we have probably not yet seen the full extent of these impacts.
As well as working to save the remaining members of vulnerable species, ZSL is looking to the future by surveying potential dangers to wildlife and developing pre-emptive solutions. Our work addresses a broad range of threats to biodiversity, but we have a particular focus on two major threats: climate change and disease.
Tracking Wildlife Health
As the world’s species and ecosystems come under greater stress, new diseases are emerging and becoming more prevalent. Disease prevention is increasingly becoming a focal point for conservation action.
With the largest Wildlife Health Unit in the UK, ZSL is able to tackle a broad range of disease-related issues ranging from garden bird health surveys to gorilla health monitoring to exploring treatments for a disease currently devastating amphibian populations.
Climate change is already having a significant impact on the natural world, and is forecasted to be a major extinction driver this century. We need innovative approaches for mitigation and adaptation.
ZSL is determined to support local, national and international efforts to address climate change by conducting strong science, convening experts, testing new approaches and highlighting the implications for species, ecosystems and humans.
A Global Protected Area Network
Given the predicted increase in the world's human population, there is little chance that we will be able to reduce our land use. The creation of a global-scale network of protected habitats could allow species to persist alongside human activity and limit the damage to biodiversity.
ZSL provided scientific advice contributing to the CBD's goal of protecting 17% of terrestrial and 10% marine areas by 2020. We are also working towards achieving it.