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David Wilkie
As Director of Conservation Support for the Wildlife Conservation Society, David Wilkie seeks to strengthen the practice and impact of WCS conservation worldwide. David joined WCS in 2001. Since then he has lead efforts to ensure that WCS field programs identify explicit conservation objectives for which we hold ourselves accountable, and tactically monitor and report our conservation progress. He is a founder of the Conservation Measures Partnership – a joint venture of conservation NGOs committed to improving the practice of conservation by promoting adoption of a consensus-based set of standards for planning, implementation and measuring conservation impact. He was co-chair of the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force, and helped establish the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights. He is a member of the WCS Institutional Review Board for protection of human subjects. David has over 30 years of experience working in international conservation in Central Africa, Central and South America, and Asia. He is a wildlife ecologist with a post-doctoral anthropology specialization in the socio-economic drivers of natural resource use practices. His work covers the impacts of trade and the commercialization of non-timber forest products on forest conservation; the role that logging plays in the commercial wildlife trade; the role that income, prices, and taste preferences play in determining demand for wildlife; the use of conditional direct payments as a tool for biodiversity conservation in developing countries; and the use of satellite imagery, and spatial simulations to model present and future tropical forest loss. He has published more than 140 peer reviewed articles and books.

Entries by David Wilkie

Drones Are Good, Bad, and Proving Vital to Protect Endangered Species

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 3:23 PM

Technology is good: It heralds a Star Trek future where we no longer need to plunder the planet to meet our needs and we work for fulfillment not a pay check. Technology is bad: It will cause massive job losses while despoiling the earth's natural resources.


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Balancing Nature and Human Needs on the Designer Ark

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 3:26 PM

When my wife and I lived in the forests of the Congo several years ago, we had a friend and neighbor named Kauteli. He liked or was indifferent to animals that did not threaten his family, damage his crops, or eat his seeds. But he did all in his power...

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Avoiding Extinction on the Goldilocks Planet

(2) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 6:03 PM

In a recent New York Times article, scientists argued that certain species might have the genetic makeup sufficient to survive the environmental and climate changes associated with the burning of fossil fuels by human society.

Though likely true this seems to miss the whole point of why people...

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Bushmeat Hunting Risks Driving Big Animals to Extinction - But We Have a Solution

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 7:28 PM

Today when families prepare a meal with meat almost anywhere on the planet, that meat comes from domesticated livestock. Only in the tropical forests of Africa, South America and Asia is the meat of wild animals still an important source of nutrition for millions of poor families.

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Consuming Over the Horizon: Seeing Our Impact Can Help Us Make the Right Decisions

(1) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 5:56 PM

I was mulching piles of leaves in my garden last autumn when my neighbor joined me to chat about a recent episode of NPR's Planet Money series on the global nature of making and selling a t-shirt.

We are lucky our homes are in a wooded area. I...

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Taking a Page From Eliot Ness to Fight Wildlife Trafficking's New Al Capones

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 5:48 PM

Last year, an average of 96 elephants were killed for their tusks every day to feed ever growing demand for ivory trinkets -- the new bling in Asia. If just 10 percent of Chinese families who make more than $16,000 per year buy one two-ounce ivory carving --...

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Obituaries Could Change the World

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 11:19 AM

I read the New York Times obits every week. My wife worries that I am being morbid. Some "age" thing happening as I get grey and visibly older. So, why do I care who has died or who has shuffled off the mortal coil? I think it is because I...

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