Bringing threatened species back from the brink of extinction

Male hihi

In the face of unprecedented biodiversity losses, effective strategies for the conservation of endangered species are urgently required. Among conservationists, there is almost universal agreement on the need for evidence-based management and for science that supports conservation decision-making.  However, management of small populations remains primarily based on the application of experience without careful evaluation. Research at the Institute of Zoology provides the evidence-base and decision support to maximise the likelihood of small population recovery.

Our work is developing a more holistic understanding of small population recovery, including drivers of smallness and heightened extinction risk, conservation management solutions and the science to best support the selection and implementation of these solutions. Our research includes long-term studies of small populations; species reintroduction and conservation translocations; disease-risk analysis and management; conservation genetics; management decision-making and assessment of conservation outcomes.  Our work aims to:

  • Develop a holistic understanding of population recovery
  • Provide exemplary case studies of science support to management
  • Produce comparative reviews showing correlates of successful and failed recovery
  • Share knowledge with the wider conservation community
Close up photo a golden brown bird with white belly and black wings, perched on a branch, looking into the camera

Re-establishment of a wild Sihek population.

Close up photo of the New Zealand fairy tern, a medium sized bird with white and grey feathers and orange beak, landing on a sandy beach

Recovery planning for the rarest breeding bird in New Zealand

Close-up photo of a curled up dormouse being held

Reintroducing the hazel dormouse into the British countryside.

Photo - Close-up photo of a pool frog held and scanned with a small hand-held device

A reintroduction project devised by Natural England and ARC to bring the...


The Tsaobis Baboon Project is a long-term study of a desert baboon...

Chequered skipper

A collaboration formed between Natural England, Butterfly Conservation, Back...

Male Hihi bird

The Ecology and Conservation of New Zealand’s Hihi: A Case Study for...

Germinal disk on egg

Protocols and video demonstrations for those wanting to identify the...

Hainan gibbons

China's Hainan gibbon is the world’s rarest ape, with just 26 left.

west european hedgehog

London Hogwatch identifies hedgehog populations in greater London to promote...

African Wild Dog - Borana Pup Begging

Conservation through coexistence

This page provides descriptions and distribution links for scientific software p
Adult Mauritius kestrel perch on a branch

Restoring a conservation icon

A male Mauritius Fody perch on a branch

The most interesting bird you’ve never heard of.

Pink pigeon

There really are Pink Pigeons!

Echo Parakeet

Recovery of the only surviving Mascarene parrot species

Mauritius olive white-eye sat on a branch

Saving Mauritius’ smallest bird

Picture of DRAHS logo and image of butterly, dormouse and frog

The DRAHS project is a collaborative initiative between ZSL and Natural...

Photograph of a camel on the steppes in Mongolia

The critically endangered wild camel survives only in Mongolia and China....