Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, which launched on January 25, 2010, serves as an umbrella for the Smithsonian’s global effort to conserve species and train future generations of conservationists. The SCBI is headquartered in Front Royal, Virginia, at the facility previously known as the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center. Learn more.

Collaborative Research Initiatives

Amphibian Conservation

Amphibians are vanishing at an unprecedented rate of species loss and deserves an unprecedented conservation response. The National Zoo's science centers are helping to lead the response to this global extinction crisis. Learn more.

Conservation Centers for Species Survival


SCBI is a member of Conservation Centers for Species Survival, a group of five centers that collectively manages more than 25,000 acres devoted to endangered species study, management and recovery. Learn more.

National Elephant Herpesvirus Laboratory

Researchers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo were the first to identify and are the world leaders in research on the elephant herpesvirus, which threatens elephant populations worldwide. Learn more.

Partners in the Sky


Unlocking the mysteries of animal movement through precision, near real-time tracking can solve major conservation challenges and transform wildlife science worldwide. SCBI scientists at tare working with aviation and aerospace leaders to use aviation and aerospace technology to create a first-of-its-kind global animal tracking system. Learn more.

Smithsonian Wild


Smithsonian scientists use camera traps—automated cameras with motion sensors—to study animals in the wild. Smithsonian WILD collects these wildlife photos, more than 202,000 so far, and allows the public to see exactly what scientists see in their research: wildlife at close range. Learn more.

Tiger conservation Partnership

SCBI scientists work with leaders, scientists, and conservation managers from 13 countries where tigers still roam to help save this magnificent creature from extinction, and ensure a future world populated with tigers. Learn more.

Science Centers of Excellence

Center for Animal Care Sciences

The National Zoo is devoted to being a leader in animal care. Taking care of animals is a complex, demanding, multifaceted endeavor. The Center for Animal Care Sciences provides for the mental and physical well-being of every animal at the Zoo. Learn more.

Conservation Ecology Center

The CEC focuses on recovering and sustaining at-risk wildlife species and their supporting ecosystems in key marine and terrestrial regions throughout the globe. Learn more.

Center for Conservation and Sustainability

tiger salamander

Scientists at the CCS protect the planet’s biodiversity by teaching conservation principles and practices. They work to find ways to help scientists, managers, companies, and industries become more environmentally responsible. The CCS recruits, educates, and intellectually equips the next generation of conservation professionals. Learn more.

Center for Conservation Genomics

variegated fairy wren

Scientists at the CCG work to understand and conserve biodiversity through genetic research. They specialize in the genetic management of wild and captive animal populations, non-invasive and ancient DNA analyses, systematics, disease diagnosis and dynamics, genetic services to the zoo community, and application of genetic methods to animal behavior and ecology. Learn more.

Migratory Bird Center

blackburnian warbler

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is dedicated to understanding, conserving and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration. Founded in 1991, we are located at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. We seek to clarify why migratory bird populations are declining before the situation becomes desperate. Our programs help raise awareness about migratory birds and the need to protect diverse habitats across the Western Hemisphere. Learn more.

Center for Species Survival

maned wolf

CSS scientists research issues in reproductive physiology, endocrinology, cryobiology, embryo biology, animal behavior, wildlife toxicology, and assisted reproduction. They strive to create knowledge that ensures self-sustaining populations in zoos and in the wild. Learn more.