History & Mission

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.
We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship New York Bronx Zoo. Together, these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

During our 114 years history, we have forged the power of our global conservation work to create the world’s most comprehensive conservation organization. We currently manage about 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries; and educate millions of visitors at our five living institutions in New York City on important issues affecting our planet.

With a commitment to protect 25 percent of the world’s biodiversity, we address four of the biggest issues facing wildlife and wild places: climate change; natural resource exploitation; the connection between wildlife health and human health; and the sustainable development of human livelihoods. While taking on these issues, we manage more than 200 million acres of protected lands around the world, with more than 200 scientists on staff.

In China we operate since 1996 engaging in multiple activities that include combating illegal trade of endangered species, encouraging sustainable development and peaceful coexistence of wildlife and human communities in Tibet, and developing safer habitats for the Siberian Amur tiger and leopard. Currently we have four offices in China in Beijing, Guangzhou, Lhasa and Hunchun. Our team features 23 talented professionals, all with a Master's or higher degree or a scientific background in biology/ecology. What is most important, we are all driven by a genuine passion for nature conservation of this incredibly rich, yet extremely fragile ecosystem.

China’s vast and complex landscapes are undergoing a vast and complex transformation. Its wildernesses span tropical and mountain forests, grasslands, meadows, deserts, high-altitude lakes, and coastal marshes. The sheer number of species found in the country is astounding: 580 mammals, 1'330 birds, 407 reptiles, 321 amphibians, and more than 3'500 fishes. Over 10% of China’s vertebrate species are unique to this country - including the giant panda, snub-nosed monkeys, Chinese alligator, Przewalski’s gazelle, and white-lipped and Pere David deer.

Other important and threatened wildlife include tigerssnow leopards, wild yak, and Tibetan antelope or “chiru.” Despite China’s natural wealth, the country’s array of species has experienced unprecedented declines during the last few decades, largely due to the overexploitation of natural resources and unsustainable economic development. Climate change is also having an increasing impact both in Tibet and areas at risk of desertification.

Our history, dating back to ensuring the survival of the American bison more than a century ago, inspires our work each day. We hope our work in turn inspires millions to take action to protect the natural resources that are so important to all life on our fragile Earth. Join us in this extraordinary adventure!