Head of Wildlife Recovery
Species recovery
Biodiversity monitoring
Bringing Threatened Species Back from the Brink
Contact details

Conservation and Policy,

Zoological Society of London,

Regent's Park,

NW1 4RY,

United Kingdom

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Mike Hoffmann is Head of Wildlife Recovery at ZSL where he heads up a number of cross-cutting programmes focused on innovating and implementing solutions to tricky conservation challenges. 

His own research interests fall into three main areas: i) understanding the status of, and threats to, biodiversity globally; ii) directing or prioritizing scarce conservation resources to places and species that need it most; and iii) measuring the impact of conservation actions and improving their effectiveness.

Much of his career has been defined by a close association with the IUCN Red List: the most comprehensive and trusted resource on the status of species. He has played an active role in expanding the coverage of the Red List to new taxa, improving the standards, tools, protocols and guidance that support the Red List process, and advising on its use for conservation planning, monitoring and management. With colleagues, he has spent considerable time investigating how best to use Red List data to understand pressures on biodiversity and to inform conservation decision-making. This has included helping launch or support several initiatives that depend on Red List data to direct conservation efforts, including to identify Key Biodiversity Areas (or their urgent subset, Alliance for Zero Extinction sites) or unique species (through our work at ZSL on the EDGE programme). 

Mike is also interested in how to implement effective and efficient actions to recover biodiversity. At the site-level, his focus is mostly on improving the management of protected and conserved areas, including through the use of technology (such as SMART) and by supporting a professionalized ranger workforce (at ZSL, we do this by working through the URSA Partnership). To better quantify the impacts of actions, he has helped pioneer a number of approaches to measuring the impact of conservation efforts, again largely using Red List data. Together with an amazing team of collaborators, he helped develop the IUCN Green Status of Species as a means of measuring species recovery and incentivizing future conservation efforts.

Although now more of a conservation generalist, Mike has a keen interest in mammalian taxonomy, biogeography and conservation, sitting on several IUCN SSC Specialist Groups, and having co-edited (with the legendary Jonathan Kingdon) the 6-volume Mammals of Africa. He holds one of the world’s most comprehensive private libraries on African mammals, which takes up an annoying amount of space at home!

More on me and my affliction with bibliophilia