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Our Theory of Change


Developing the science and best practice of endangered species recovery and rewilding will be an important new initiative for Durrell. We will focus our efforts on measuring conservation effectiveness and success by publishing more case studies and working with the IUCN and the zoo community on designing a global standard and mechanism to assess and track species conservation success. Our aim is to guide conservation practitioners and improve their effectiveness.

ReWilding Sites

We will focus on long-term restoration of ecosystems in ten of the world’s major terrestrial biomes.

These sites will form the focus of our future conservation efforts, around which we will also have an extensive number of partnership projects. Each rewilding site will develop specific approaches to the recovery of highly threatened species. Our aim is to become a leader of rewilding, an approach that recovers species via the restoration of their broader ecosystems.

We are working with local partner organisations to set ambitious visions for each rewilding site for restoring key wildlife species, habitats and natural processes. In the near-term, we must continue to focus on addressing the main human-driven threats through targeted actions which are regularly monitored to ensure they are effective.

Our rewilding sites must have a high conservation need, where we can develop conservation approaches that can be applied to other species or ecosystems in the future. We have chosen ten sites that are representative of the world’s major terrestrial biomes and have chosen locations where we have a strong legacy of engagement to enable more effective collaboration and action on the ground.


At Jersey Zoo we will blur the barriers between animals and people by creating a wilder and more immersive experience for visitors.

Zoos provide a window into the wild, connecting visitors to wildlife and educating audiences about conservation issues and the part that they can play in helping to save endangered species. Bringing people closer to the animals will help connect them to nature and inspire them to take responsibility for the world in which we live.

As human society becomes increasingly urbanised this role will become ever more important, as zoos become the only tangible contact many people may have with wild animals. The responsibility of zoos has never been greater and the emergence of the zoo-based conservation organisation is due in large part to the work that Durrell has always promoted, fulfilling the vision of our founder.

We will refine our animal collection to drive further development of our conservation expertise and the skills of our staff and trainees. Together with our partner zoos we will directly support conservation through breeding programmes, by providing technical expertise, by conducting research that informs conservation action, and through directly funding or running conservation programmes in the wild.

By working collaboratively with one another and with conservation partners, and by engaging and inspiring audiences and communities, zoos have a fundamental place in future society and will fulfil their true potential – reconnecting people with nature, saving species and creating a wilder world.

Conservation Training

Our focus will be on enabling conservation leaders and organisations around our rewilding sites to deliver more effective conservation programmes.

We have a long history of training and supporting the next generation of conservationists around the world. To drive widespread change, we need to recruit young people who are passionate and dedicated to the conservation cause.

Our founder believed strongly in the importance of sharing knowledge and skills with conservationists around the world, especially in the countries where the pressures are the greatest. For over three decades our training has inspired and equipped students with the skills they need.

With our academies in Jersey and Mauritius as hubs, we will scale up our efforts to enhance the quality, reach and effectiveness of the training we provide. We also aim to explore the establishment of new training hubs and relationships associated with rewilding sites and to reach out to new partners to expand the range of training opportunities available. Ultimately, we aim to deepen the impact our training can have on both individuals and institutions engaged in the conservation of the natural world.