WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society (NYZS) and currently works to conserve more than two million square miles of wild places around the world. The organization is led by President and CEO Cristián Samper, former Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Based at the Bronx Zoo, WCS maintains approximately 500 field conservation projects in 65 countries, with 200 PhD scientists on staff. It manages four New York City wildlife parks in addition to the Bronx Zoo: the Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo. Together these parks receive 4 million visitors per year.
All of the New York City facilities are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
WCS's goal is to conserve the world's largest wild places in 15 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world's biodiversity.
This is outlined in our 2020 strategy, which positions WCS to maintain its historic focus on the protection of species while developing an ambitious plan to engage with a rapidly changing world.
The challenges are greater than ever, but with the focus, dedication, and passion of a committed staff—combined with a unique mixture of field, zoo, and aquarium expertise—WCS will continue to set the bar for science, conservation action, and education that has driven our success in protecting wildlife and wild places for over a century. We hold ourselves to the highest standards, adhering to core values of respect, accountability and transparency, innovation, diversity and inclusion, collaboration, and integrity.