Wild Animal Initiative works to accelerate science that helps wild animals.
The problem: The vast majority of animals live in the wild outside of human care — over ten trillion vertebrates, and at least 10^18 (i.e., a million trillion) arthropods. We know astonishingly little about the quality of these animals’ lives, and there is reason to think they face significant harms — not only increasing human-caused harms such as climate change but also naturally occurring harms such as resource scarcity, conflict with other animals, or disease. Unfortunately, we don’t know enough about animals’ lives and the interconnected nature of ecosystems to responsibly act to improve wild animal welfare, and animal welfare science and wildlife sciences have not historically combined to study the welfare of free-ranging wild animals.
Our vision: A world in which people actively choose to help wild animals — and have the knowledge they need to do so responsibly.
The first step to achieving this vision is developing a deeper understanding of wild animals and their welfare. We believe generating that knowledge requires a sustained academic field of wild animal welfare science. The field will establish essential knowledge of the factors influencing the welfare of wild animals and how their welfare can be responsibly improved.
We contribute to the growth of the wild animal welfare science field through:
Research: Scientists on our staff study wild animal welfare, focusing on research questions that contribute to the growth of the field and inform our funding priorities.
Grants: We fund scientists working on wild animal welfare research through grants and fellowships. We prioritize projects that improve our understanding of fundamental concepts, novel methods, and preliminary interventions that will accelerate the growth of the field.
Outreach: We provide wild animal welfare researchers with networking opportunities, seminars, workshops, training, career advising, and proposal review. We are continuously expanding our services based on the needs of the community.
Find us online:
Facebook: / wildanimalinitiative
Casey is the Development Director at Wild Animal Initiative. He studied environmental biology at Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, later earning his MS in nonprofit leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as an urban forester for nearly a decade before shifting to fundraising in 2014. Before joining Wild Animal Initiative, he worked for the Schuylkill Center and the Philadelphia Zoo. Casey is located in Philadelphia.
Wild Animal Welfare Research and Field Building
Wild Animal Initiative (WAI) works to improve wild animal welfare by expanding the field of wild animal research. By conducting its own research and helping support the needs of other wild animal researchers, the organisation aims to garner public and academic interest in wild animal welfare and identify evidence-based solutions to the struggles wild animals face.