Conservation & Science

Leading the Way in Wildlife Conservation

One of the largest zoo-based conservation and science programs in the country, Lincoln Park Zoo’s Conservation & Science Department is dedicated to improving animal management and wildlife conservation. Zoo scientists combine expertise in a range of disciplines to identify threats to zoo and wild populations and develop strategies to ensure their continued existence.


Great Ape Conservation

From field research in the forests of Africa to studies aimed at enhancing understanding of ape behavior, we lead the way in great ape conservation.
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Protecting Wild Ecosystems

Zoo scientists protect the predators of the Serengeti, great apes in Gombe National Park and other wild wonders throughout the globe.
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Planning Sustainable Populations

By making models of how populations grow and change, zoo scientists ensure healthy futures in zoos and the wild.
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Bringing Species Back from the Brink

From guiding reintroduction programs to returning animals to their historic homes, zoo scientists help species recover from their brush with extinction.
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Enhancing Animal Health

Disease-surveillance programs, nutrition studies and cutting-edge veterinary care reflect Lincoln Park Zoo's commitment to enhancing animal health.
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Understanding Animal Behavior

By monitoring behavior (and measuring hormones), zoo scientists help us better understand how animals engage the world around them.
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   The Serengeti Health Initiative is dedicated to studying Africa's signature ecosystem and taking action to keep it healthy and whole.
Goualougo Triangle Ape Project
In a remote region of the Republic of Congo, researchers are conducting groundbreaking research into how gorillas and chimpanzees live alongside one another in one of the most pristine landscapes on earth.
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  Serengeti Health Initiative
The Serengeti Health Initiative is dedicated to studying Africa's signature ecosystem and taking action to keep it healthy and whole.
Read more

Science Centers





To accomplish this mission of improving animal management and wildlife conservation, Lincoln Park Zoo:

  • Conducts research with direct application to managing and conserving animals in zoos and in the wild
  • Leads field animal conservation efforts on behalf of wild populations
  • Advises population management programs for zoo and wild populations
  • Trains students as well as zoo and conservation professionals

The zoo’s research and conservation efforts focus on programs in small population biology, applied animal behavior, conservation of wild populations, epidemiology, endocrinology, cognition and learning, and veterinary medicine.

These disciplines are organized into five primary centers, with each center having its own dedicated research staff, support staff and funding. These centers include the Population Management Center, Urban Wildlife Institute, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology and Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology.

For more information on the zoo’s conservation and science programs, you can contact us at or 312-742-3992.

Conservation Field Diaries
Lincoln Park Zoo scientists offer conservation updates from wild spots across the globe.
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Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo Blog
Follow along as native plants and animals are spotted in Lincoln Park Zoo's urban oasis.
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Help ID the animals that call Chicago home, from coyotes to chipmunks, by visiting Chicago Wildlife Watch at
Chicago Wildlife Watch
Help zoo scientists ID the animals that call Chicago home, from coyotes to chipmunks.
ID Animals with Chicago Wildlife Watch

As Lincoln Park Zoo celebrates 25 years of conservation and science work, we share some top projects, including vaccinating the Serengeti and reintroducing local species.Saving Species of All Sizes
To celebrate 25 years of zoo science, we share projects ranging from ape touch-screen studies to rhino pregnancy tests.
View the Inforgraphic (1 MB JPG)


Your support ensures top-notch habitats for animals throughout the Lincoln Park Zoo. Give today to make a difference.