Wildlife Conservation Network

Wildlife Conservation Network
Founded 2002
Founder Charles Knowles, John Lukas and Akiko Yamazaki.[1]
Type Non-profit Organization
Focus Environmentalism
Area served
World wide
Method Community based partnerships, fundraising, consultancy
Key people
  • Charles Knowles (Executive Director)
  • John Lukas (Director)
  • Akiko Yamazaki (Director)
  • Christine Hemrick (Director)
  • Rebecca Patton (Director / Chief Operating Officer)
  • Isabella Rossellini (Director Emeritus)
  • Bill Unger (Director)
  • David Berger (Director)
$9,947,168 (2013)[2]
Slogan The Spirit of Innovation in Conservation
Website wildnet.org

The Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) is a United States-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that partners with conservationists from around the world and is dedicated to developing community-based projects that help wildlife and people co-exist. WCN does this by providing its partners with capital, resources, training, and back-office support. WCN is ranked as the leading Wildlife Conservation charity on Charity Navigator with its highest four star rating and gives it high marks for organizational efficiency.[4]

Founded in 2002, Wildlife Conservation Network was built on a venture capital fundraising model to identify high-potential conservationists and projects and give them the support they need to effectively run their programs.[5]

Current conservation partners

Wildlife Conservation Network forms partnerships with a select number of field-based conservation projects committed to protecting terrestrial mammals. WCN limits its partnerships to projects that are beyond the start-up phase and usually with an organizational budget below $250 thousand.[6]

Partners as of 2015 include:

2012 Expo at the Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco

Wildlife Conservation Expo

WCN hosts an annual event, the Wildlife Conservation Expo, in the San Francisco Bay Area that brings together donors, partners, other conservationists and experts from around the world.[8] Notable keynote speakers have included Dr. Jane Goodall,[9] Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton,[10] Peter Matthiessen[11] Dr. Claudio Sillero-Zubiri[12] and Dr. Greg Rasmussen.[13]

The annual Expo also features WCN's partners, who share information and updates on their respective projects. Other past non-partner guest speakers have included William Robichaud representing the Saola Working Group, Dr. Pablo Borboroglu with Global Penguin society[14] and Robyn Appleton representing the Spectacled Bear Conservation Society - Peru.[15]

Notable programs and campaigns

Elephant Crisis Fund

In partnership with Save the Elephants and supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, WCN began the Elephant Crisis Fund to address the current wave of elephant poaching that is devastating Africa’s elephant population. The fund identifies and supports the most urgent projects that address poaching, ivory trafficking, and demand for ivory. Funded organizations include Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, Tsavo Trust, and Wildlife Direct, among many others. 100% of the Elephant Crisis Fund’s money is used for on-the-ground conservation actions.[16]

Scholarship program

Since 2006, WCN has supported graduate students aspiring to become wildlife conservationists through a scholarship program. The program focuses on students committed to working on projects in their home countries where conservation efforts are needed.[17]

Solar project

In 2005, WCN started providing solar electric systems such as solar water pumps, cookers, lighting, hot water and water purification systems to its partner projects in South America, Africa and Asia.[18]


  1. Estrella, Cicero A. (7 February 2003). "Wildlife Inc. / Silicon Valley business whizzes put their savvy to protecting endangered species around the world". San Francisco Chronicle.
  2. "Wildlife Conservation Network 2013 Annual Report" (PDF). Wildlife Conservation Network.
  3. "Wildlife Conservation Network 2012 Annual Report" (PDF). Wildlife Conservation Network.
  4. "Wildlife Conservation Network". Charity Navigator.
  5. "Disney Honors WCN Director Isabella Rossellini and WCN Partner Iain Douglas-Hamilton as Wildlife Advocates". Business Wire.
  6. "Wildlife Conservation Network". Terra Viva Grants Directory.
  7. "Wildlife Projects". Wildlife Conservation Network.
  8. "AFC Exhibiting at Wildlife Conservation Network Expo". Artists for Conservation.
  9. "San Francisco, CA: Dr. Goodall's Keynote Speech at the WCN Expo". The Jane Goodall Institute.
  10. "Wildlife Conservation Expo". The Eyes of Thailand.
  11. "Wildlife expo showcases leading conservationists". Los Altos Town Crier.
  12. "Wildlife Conservation Network Expo". Wildlife Conservation Network.
  13. "Wildlife Conservation Network Expo". Wildlife Conservation Network.
  14. "Wildlife Conservation network Expo 2012" (PDF). Wildlife Conservation Network.
  15. "Wildlife Conservation Expo Guest Speakers 2015". Wildlife Conservation Network.
  16. "WCN Elephant Crisis Fund". Elephant Crisis Fund.
  17. "WCN Solar Project". WCN Solar Project.
  18. "Wildlife Conservation Network Receives $1 Million Gift for Scholarship Program; Scholarship Invests in Local People As Future Leaders of Wildlife Conservation Around the World". Business Wire.
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