Conservation Nation works directly with Smithsonian scientists and researchers to impact global wildlife conservation efforts.

conservation nation logo

Our Impact

With your fundraising donations, Conservation Nation has supported Smithsonian conservation projects around the world. While our work to erase extinction is far from over, it is important to look back and note the amazing work we’ve achieved together.

Rhino Experts to Meet in Two Weeks

Their bags are packed. Thanks to Conservation Nation, Smithsonian scientists are headed to Kenya in two weeks for a conference uniting the world’s top rhino experts with vets who are working to save rhinos on the ground. There, they will share research and resources, including special kits designed to make it as simple as possible to capture diagnostics and samples correctly for analysis.

Red Siskin Initiative Soars to New Heights

After receiving Conservation Nation support to launch key aspects of their project, the Red Siskin Initiative (RSI) was just awarded a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the American Bird Conservancy to continue their important work on this endangered South American bird.

Tracking Giraffes in Kenya

In 2017, scientists tagged 11 reticulated giraffes with high-tech, solar-powered, satellite transmitters. Just months later, the information gathered revealed a sobering reality—four of the animals had been poached. Even with the risks in mind, and even when the study endures tragic setbacks like animals lost to poaching, this research is key for the future of the species in the area.

To Track a Tapir

A team of conservationists have begun work in the Paraguayan Chaco, including a Conservation Nation-funded, two-year project to track and study Lowland tapirs.

An Elephant Feat

Conservation Nation “footed the bill” for a high-tech thermography camera to study Asian elephants’ feet as part of ongoing pachyderm research. Learn about how a world-renowned researcher is using this device in Myanmar.

First Set of Meadowlarks Take Flight

Earlier this summer, Conservation Nation began purchasing tiny high-tech GPS tracking devices to outfit eastern meadowlarks—the transmitters are smaller than a dime and weigh less than four grams, so they won’t hinder birds in flight. Thanks to these bits of avian-friendly tech, Smithsonian researchers will soon know the path of a depleting population of songbirds as they migrate up and down the East Coast. Tagged eastern meadowlarks have taken flight, and researchers await their first round of data this month.

Experts Unite to Save Cheetahs

Meet Morgan. With Conservation Nation’s support, she’s studying Cheetah scat in the wild, learning about the microbes that live in cheetahs’ digestive systems. That way, researchers can cater cheetah diets to avoid diseases and ensure this species has a future in the wild.

Flamingo Expedition Set for August

Last year, Conservation Nation fundraised to outfit 10 wild Andean flamingos in remote Argentina with solar-powered satellite transmitters. Now researchers are forging ahead with the project, thanks to Conservation Nation’s support, with a collaborative expedition planned to tag the birds this August.

The Sunscreen Dilemma

To apply sunscreen or not to apply sunscreen—that is the question. And for many of the conservation-minded, the answer can be complicated. According to the National Park Service, 6,000 tons of sunscreen are likely washing off beachgoers and harming coral reefs yearly.

Protecting a Symbol

The Red Siskins’ population plummeted a century ago because of a lucrative European pet trade, with some estimating that, at one time, fewer than 200 birds remained in their natural habitat. Progress has been made since then, thanks in large part to the Red Siskin Initiative.

Rhino Rescue

Conservation Nation is funding a four-day workshop this October for the top minds in the field to gather in Laikipia, Kenya, and share knowledge about how to best protect, monitor and research rhinos in the wild.

Saving Dolphins in Peru

Eavesdropping on cetaceans—someone’s got to do it. And thanks to Conservation Nation, and supporters like you, that someone is going to be marine biologist Dr. Ximena Velez-Zuazo and her team.

Scientists Spread the Word about 2019’s Projects

Conservation Nation scientists were on hand to represent the five 2019 showcase projects at ZooFari: Bite Night, a benefit for wildlife sponsored by GEICO, on May 16.

Machu Picchu’s Shaggy Star

As the only bear species native to South America, the Andean bear population has already been depleted in the wild because of farming, mining and other human impacts.

andean bear with cub

Saving Chicks, One Nest at a Time

Thanks to Conservation Nation’s donation to this project, more than a hundred specially designed and tested nest boxes will be built locally.

Funding Safe Nests for African Penguins

In just three decades, the African penguin population has declined more than 50 percent. Now endangered, African penguin populations continue to decline, due to destruction of breeding grounds for the guano harvest, and “egging”—humans collecting newly-laid eggs to sell at markets. These factors, paired with oil spills and overfishing, have severely decimated this already fragile population. In partnership with the SAFE program, Smithsonian scientists are addressing the African penguin crisis by building nest boxes where penguins can safely lay their eggs, and, once hatched, the nest box will provide a stable environment for growing chicks. With funding from Conservation Nation, we can help scientists reach their goal of installing 2,600 nest boxes on African penguin nesting islands, and ensure penguins continue to swim wild in the waters of southern Africa.

Providing Healthcare for Endangered Rhinos

Rhinos are among the most universally recognized species in the world, but they are also one of the most endangered with only two rhino species remaining in Africa. With so few individuals left, the survival of each rhino is critically important. But we are losing them at an alarming rate due not only to poaching, but to insufficient medical care. With funds raised this year, we can support the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program in working with local partners on the ground in Kenya to standardize, improve, and provide advanced veterinary care for ill, injured, and orphaned rhinos.

Tracking Vulnerable Andean Flamingos

The Andean flamingo—listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species—is native to the Andes Mountains, and is among the rarest flamingo species on the planet. Andean Flamingos rely heavily on highland lakes to forage and breed, but increasingly these lakes are becoming polluted by mining activities and drying up due to climate change, making them unusable for flamingos and increasing the decline of the already vulnerable population. Through Conservation Nation funding, scientists can track Andean flamingos using satellite transmitters, identify which lakes are most often used by the flamingos, and then develop an effective conservation plan for this species.

Stopping the Decline of the Wild Cheetah

In addition to owning the title of fastest land animal in the world, cheetahs are also the most endangered African cat species, with roughly 6,700 left in the wild. Inbreeding and fragmented populations spread throughout Africa have nearly driven this majestic species to extinction. To strengthen genetic diversity, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are collaborating with researchers in Namibia to analyze wild cheetah scat (poop). Using the information from individual cheetah scat samples, scientists can determine the health and stability of the wild cheetah population, which will then help scientists form a conservation plan to ensure the cheetah’s ultimate survival.

Using Unique Technology to Monitor Asian Elephant Health

Ensuring the health of endangered Asian elephants in Thailand is critical to creating a healthy population—in human care and in the wild—but a desperate area of focus is detecting and evaluating joint and foot inflammation, an illness that is debilitating and can potentially lead to death. Smithsonian scientists have identified tremendous potential for thermography (thermal imaging and video) as a noninvasive way to detect such issues in elephants. Funds from Conservation Nation will provide scientists with thermal infrared imaging cameras to use in Thailand for a more proactive approach to elephant healthcare that includes diagnosing and treating issues before they become debilitating.