Wildlife & habitat conservation


Biosphere Expeditions' volunteer work with animals played a pivotal role in establishing the country's largest leopard research project, working with local ranchers and resolving human-wildlife conflict, which led to a significant reduction in big cats killed in the country.

Peru Amazon

Our guidelines for boat behaviour at clay licks in the Tambopata Reserve have been incorporated in local management plans. Guidelines are needed because unsustainable forms of farming, logging and tourism are threatening the natural habitat in the Peruvian Amazon.

Brazilian Atlantic rainforest

Our recommendations for the management and protection of jaguars have been incorporated into national and state-wide jaguar action plans in Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest.

Caribbean marine protected area, Honduras

Our recommendations for the management and protection of the coral reefs of the Cayos Cochinos marine protected area in Honduras have been incorporated into the managing authorities’ action plan.

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, United Arab Emirates

Our volunteer work with animals in the UAE meant that recommendations for the management of Arabian oryx and Gordon’s wildcat were incorporated into the action plan of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Spanish Pyrenees

Together with our partners in Spain, we helped to reverse a EU high altitude carcass removal regulation, which was designed to combat the spread of BSE, but was starving high mountain vultures and bears.

Costa Rica

As a result of Biosphere Expeditions' citizen science research, beach patrol and direct conservation actions, up to 75% of sea turtle nests are saved each nesting season on Pacuare beach, Caribbean coast, Costa Rica. Combined actions by NGOs and state authorities will have a high chance of success of bringing poaching down to levels below 10%, which would turn this wildlife volunteer conservation project from extinction prevention into population recovery for leatherback, green, hawksbill and loggerhead sea turtles.


Data collected by our wildlife expeditions in the Ukraine have helped our local partners make arguments that have led to the declaration of a national park in the Ukraine in 2006. This park now protects a unique steppe area jutting into the Black Sea and a stop-off point for many migratory birds, as well as a haven for fauna (e.g. birds & wolves) and flora (it boasts amongst other things Europe's biggest orchid field).

Altai Republic, Russian Federation

Data collected by our expeditiontrips to the Altai mountains have helped our local and international partners make arguments that have led to the declaration of Saylyugemsky National Park in the Altai Republic, Central Asia, in 2010. This area now provides a protected habitat for a number of endangered species, including the snow leopard. Also in the Altai, we have converted local poachers into conservationists by paying them for verifiable camera trap pictures of snow leopards surviving year-on-year. This is obviously not a long-term strategy, but with so few snow leopards remaining, some stopgap solutions are needed until the long-term ones can be reached.

Southern Africa

Data collected by our volunteer wildlife conservation expeditions in Namibia have helped our local and international partners make arguments that have led to the declaration of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, or KAZA TFCA, in 2011. The KAZA TFCA is the world's largest conservation area, spanning five southern African countries; Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, centered around the Caprivi-Chobe-Victoria Falls area. Also in Namibia, fewer lions, leopards and cheetahs have been killed in farmer-predator conflict due to our data collection, awareness-building and educational work.


When Australia created the world's largest network of marine reserves in 2012, the Roebuck Commonwealth Marine Reserve, site of our flatback turtle study, was part of the network. Along with our local partners, we were working towards getting flatback turtles listed within the ‘major conservation values’ of the reserve and this is what happened, with the citation being ‘Foraging area adjacent to important nesting sites for flatback turtles’.


Data collected by our wildlife expeditions as well as our intensive work to influence decision-makers have led to the creation of two MPAs (marine protected areas) in the Musandam Peninsula of Oman in 2013, where all fishing except local handline fishing has been banned by a new ministerial decree.


An outstanding coral reef site called ‘Rasdhoo Madivaru’, regularly visited by the annual Biosphere Expeditions surveys, was declared a Marine Protected Area in 2019. The site is both resilient to the worst effects of coral bleaching and harbours large megafauna such as sharks, manta rays, turtles and Napoleon wrasse. The annual expedition trips highlighted the site as being of extraordinary biodiversity value for eight successive years until it was finally declared an MPA by the Maldivian authorities.


We played an active role in saving 50 wolves from being declared legitimate hunting targets in the Bieszczady mountains in Poland. This was achieved by providing accurate information on the predator numbers and by influencing the local authorities who reversed their decision to cull wolves.

Peru Amazon

Together with our partners in Peru, we were able to halt a dam construction project, which was threatening a biodiversity hotspot in our Madre de Dios study site region in the Peru Amazon region.

Azores archipelago (Portugal)

Our wildlife expedition to the Azores, which started in 2004, is one of our longest-running projects. Over the years it has gathered critical long-term datasets on the movement of whales across the Atlantic. These data have been used in species protection and conservation schemes, for example by the International Whaling Commission, and in protected area designations. Closer to home on the Azores, data have been used to establish speed limits on high-speed ferries to protect whales from being killed in high speed boat strikes. Also, a 34-year observation span of a sperm whale around the Azores, using our data amongst others doing volunteer work with animals, set a long-term observation world record.

Wild dogs: Citizen and professional scientist bag a first record of them in Vwaza Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
25 June 2024

Coral bleaching: The canary in the coal mine for corporate greed and environmental destruction
4 June 2024

The power of Marine Citizen Science: How Biosphere Expeditions has made a difference
22 May 2024

Another discovery for Biosphere Expeditions: birds in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
10 April 2024

Another scientific paper: Honeybush in South Africa
25 February 2023

Whale world record and the power of citizen science
9 June 2021

Citizen science delivers - again (in Malawi and South Africa)
30 December 2020

Amidst the gloom, a conservation success story - three years of Reef Check Oman
22 October 2020

Nature fighting back: Maldives reefs showing resilience
1 October 2019

Citizen science doubles critical wolf data in Lower Saxony, Germany
21 May 2019

Citizen science and wolf conservation working hand in hand
12 September 2018

Lüneburg Heath and Masai Mara - wolves, citizens and science in Lower Saxony, Germany
6 June 2018

75% sea turtle nests saved in landmark achievement on Pacuare beach, Caribbean coast, Costa Rica
4 April 2018

Wolf pack in Germany confirmed thanks to citizen science
27 March 2018

Oman's two historic first Reef Check Trainers take on leading role as citizen scientists in country's reef conservation
20 March 2018

Resilient reefs of Musandam (Oman) bucking bleaching carnage - a glimmer of hope for reefs in the face of climate change?
30 August 2017

Omanis for Omani reefs: Community-based reef research and conservation programme launched in Muscat
31 May 2017

Maldivians for Maldivian reefs: Much needed community-based reef survey and care programme launched in Male'
15 May 2017

Historic first community-based reef survey near Muscat, Oman
30 January 2017

Musandam corals healthy, but problems remain
30 October 2016

Bleaching and teaching – saving corals and marine life in the face of El Niño
29 June 2016

Community-based reef conservation in the face of monster El Niño approaching the Maldives
22 March 2016

Divers rediscover Eden for coral reefs in the face of climate change
3 November 2015

Citizen science helps Arabian wolf in Dubai
13 September 2015

Snow leopard presence confirmed in Saylyugem National Park
14 April 2015

Tracking large carnivores in Slovakia’s Vel’ka Fatra National Park
24 March 2015

First ever all-Maldivian Reef Check survey
14 November 2014

Biosphere Expeditions welcomes protection for unique marine ecosystem in Musandam, Oman
27 November 2013

Asia unites to save the snow leopard; Biosphere Expeditions in the thick of it
4 November 2013

Protection for 80 Mile Beach
29 January 2013

Biosphere Expeditions plays its part in Australia's declaration of world's largest marine reserve
28 November 2012

Biosphere Expeditions volunteer diving research shows remarkable coral reef recovery
17 October 2012

Volunteers find new data on Pallas' cats
5 October 2012

Biosphere Expeditions teams up with Reef Check for EcoExpedition in Malaysia
20 September 2012

Biosphere Expeditions research shows remarkable coral reef recovery
17 September 2012

Peru cancels massive dam project that would have destroyed biodiversity hotspot
20 August 2011

Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area declared - now world's biggest protected area
18 August 2011

Biosphere Expeditions launch reef educational booklet for Maldivian children and scholarship programme for adults
7 August 2011 - issued in the Maldives

Pioneering conservation work delivers encouraging results for Musandam coral reefs in Oman
10 May 2010

  • Over 400,000 hours worked in citizien science wildlife conservation & research
    Over 4 million € put directly into wildlife volunteer conservation projects worldwide
    Over 1.5 million € put into local projects and communities as in-kind donations
  • Extensive library of research output, conservation recommendations and actions
  • Protected areas created and in some cases co-managed on four continents
  • Two research centres (Africa & South America) created and run as centres of conservation excellence and action
  • Other research centres supported and co-run on four continents
  • Over 100 local placements on wildlife expeditions, some of whom have gone on to careers in conservation or biology
  • Community-based conservation groups and NGOs initiated in the Maldives, Oman and Kyrgyzstan
  • Also see the 20 year anniversary magazine with history and background