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.
Collaborative Research Initiatives
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
Scientists at the CCES 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 CCES recruits, educates, and intellectually equips the next generation of conservation professionals. Learn more.
Scientists at the CCEG 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.
The Migratory Bird Center studies Neotropical songbirds and wetland birds, the role of disease in bird population declines, and the environmental challenges facing urban and suburban birds. They also train professionals in environmental coffee certification throughout Latin America. Learn more.
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.