Applied research

Supporting applied scientific research focused on landscape species and mitigating human impacts on wildlife

  • WCS conducts wildlife population surveys, using high-tech tools like camera traps, sonars, radio tracking devices, as well as direct observations. We also collaborate with a wide array of local, national, and international partners to identify the habitat needs of key species that are vulnerable to extinction, important to humans, powerful icons of nature and whose conservation will help to ensure the protection of entire landscapes.
  • WCS continuously assesses the impacts of illegal wild meat trade in major local markets and extraction areas, and evaluates market chains and human populations generating the demand of wild meat to help the Ministry of Environment design effective interventions to curtail this activity.
  • WCS undertakes biological and socio-economic assessments of the landscapes in which we work to identify the main factors shaping land-use patterns, measure the impacts of conservation activities on local livelihoods, evaluate the potential impacts of climate change, and identify potential mitigation strategies to reduce the vulnerability of human and wildlife populations.

Major accomplishments:

  • The Ministry of the Environment has selected a suite of 18 key wildlife species to use as umbrellas for the conservation of priority areas throughout Ecuador.
  • The Ministry of the Environment is implementing a landscape-scale monitoring program covering an area of approximately 65,000 km2. Once the monitoring protocol has been validated in the field, it will be extended to the entire protected area system of Ecuador.