ZSL's women working on the ground, in conservation

by ZSL on

At ZSL, our Conservation and Policy programme works across the globe to conserve wildlife. In celebration of International Woman’s Day, we're highlighting some of our female conservationists working around the world, tacking different conservation issues. We talked about the favourite part of their job and their advice to young women interested in conservation.

Malenoh Ndimbe - Research Biomonitoring and Surveillance Officer, Cameroon

Lady with uniform, holding a phone with a compass around her neck.

What's your favourite part of your job? 

Getting to go [in] to the field is by far the most favourite part of my job. The quiet and peacefulness of the forest is amazing. It's always exciting when I get to see wildlife in their natural habitat.

What is your advice to young women interested in conservation?

The flexibility to choose conservation as your career path, I can guarantee that you will never regret it. Being a conservationist gives you the opportunity to save the planet, one species at a time. On a daily basis you’ll be doing something to make the planet a better space to live in not just for your generation but for many more generations to come.

Alison Debney, Marine and Freshwater Conservation Programme Manager, Estuaries & Wetlands, UK

Woman smiling on a boat talking to men in hi-vis jackets

What's your favourite part of your job? 

Sharing a passion for nature conservation and seeing ‘young conservationists’ feel proud of how they have contributed to making the world a better place. 

What is your advice to young women interested in conservation?

Show your passion and don’t give up. Opportunities often come from left field.


Dr Linda Kerley, Amur Tiger and Leopard Project Manager, Russia

Lady looking underneath a tree

What's your favourite part of your job? 

My favourite part of my job as ZSL’s Amur tiger conservations programme manager in Russia (with partners ANO “Amur”) is discovering new tiger cubs photographed by camera traps, providing direct evidence that our conservation initiatives are working.    

What is your advice to young women interested in conservation?

If you want to be successful, begin by networking with as many successful conservationist as possible to learn from people who can give you good advice, but don’t be afraid to develop your own ideas as you learn about the established field.


Dr Tungalag Ulambayar, Country Director, Mongolia

Lady talking to three journalists with microphones, on video camera

What's your favourite part of your job? 

I love going for fieldwork where I have a pleasure of being inspired by Nature and nomadic pastoralists, who carry the true identity of Mongols and maintain the traditions and culture.

What is your advice to young women interested in conservation?

Life is about making good choices. So I congratulate ladies who already made a smart choice of becoming a conservationist. I strongly believe that integrity is important for women conservationists. I try to make nature-friendly choices for my consumption, including my outfits, food, and appliances, thus I advice others to do the same.


Becky Shu, Project Coordinator, China

What's your favourite part of your job? 

My passion is to inspire and advocate people to care and take actions for conservation.

What is your advice to young women interested in conservation?

Women can definitely become the game changers if you are determined, persistent and confident.


Clarine Kigoli, Data Analyst, Conservation and Policy, Kenya

Lady standing posing at the base of a giant tree with purple trousers on

What's your favourite part of your job? 

One major highlight is I have been running SMART trainings in Kenya and across Africa. What I like most about this is that during the trainings I get the opportunity to engage with people challenges and success stories. SMART is one of my favourite projects to work on as it is a partnership between ten conservation organisations. It is very rewarding working on such a large-scale global conservation initiative.

What is your advice to young women interested in conservation?

I always feel sad when running trainings with only men in attendance. I am always asking myself where are the Women? We need to empower women to take up roles in conservation. Conservation is for us all we need to make a difference! Just do it! And stop thinking about how few women there are out there in the field. And by showing you are doing a good job, there will be more and more women who will have the courage to join the conservation field!


Dr. Jurgenne Honculada-Primavera, Chief Scientific Mangrove Advisor, Philippines

Lady with hat talking to people

What is your advice to young women interested in conservation?

During the many talks that I give, I try to share the following lessons in life with young (and not-so-young) people in the audience: Making the right choice may not be as important as making the choice right, when you are young and time is on your side.

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