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VISITORS: Please note that the Zoo will close early to pedestrians and vehicular traffic on Oct. 20, 21 and 22 in preparation for Boo at the Zoo. Please visit the hours page for full details.

Conservation

Learn how scientists around the world are saving species
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Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) plays a leading role in the Smithsonian’s global efforts to save wildlife species from extinction and train future generations of conservationists. SCBI spearheads research programs at its headquarters in Front Royal, Virginia, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and at field research stations and training sites worldwide. SCBI scientists tackle some of today’s most complex conservation challenges by applying and sharing what they learn about animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability.

Please Note: The SCBI facility in Front Royal, Virginia, is open to the public once a year for the annual Conservation Discovery Day (formerly known as the Autumn Conservation Festival).

SCBI Animals

coalition of five cheetahs sitting on a rock in the grass
The SCBI Department of Animal Programs team currently manages 12 mammal and nine bird species in 24 specialized barns and building complexes spread over more than 1,000 acres at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. This special environment allows for unique studies that contribute to the survival of threatened, difficult-to-breed species with distinctive needs, especially those requiring large areas, natural group sizes and minimal public disturbance. 

Support SCBI

clouded leopard cubs

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute—a breeding, research and training facility with outposts around the globe—saves species using science.

Virginia Working Landscapes

Researchers standing and looking across a foggy field

Virginia Working Landscapes is a network of conservation organizations and local landowners led and overseen by SCBI and partners. Together, they work to protect Virginia’s natural biodiversity and promote sustainable land-use practices.

Lectures

Scientists traveling on an elephant conducting GPS work in Myanmar

Journey with Smithsonian scientists and other conservation professionals as they travel the globe to study and protect species and ecosystems. Share in their adventures during these free science lecture series. The series is free and open to the public.