About Us

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CIRCLE is a University of York Environment Department collaboration with Flamingo Land, the UK’s most visited zoo.

CIRCLE’s mission is to use scientific evidence to guide biodiversity conservation, animal welfare and public understanding of the natural world. Our vision is to develop a sustainable future for both wildlife and people.


Biodiversity for Tomorrow

We endeavour to carry out ground-breaking research that will contribute to the conservation of wild animals and places. We aim to disseminate research findings in a manner that is accessible, informative, interesting, and fun, so that it has value for researchers, policymakers, managers and EVERYONE. Biodiversity is declining across the world as a result of human activity, and research findings are mostly not considered in practical conservation management. We believe that conservation of biodiversity must take a holistic approach in order to succeed, and hence our research has a broad focus spread across four research themes.

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By 2020, CIRCLE will have used research findings to make measurable, practical, contributions to biodiversity conservation, animal welfare and public understanding of the natural world, through influencing management practices at local, national, and international scales.

Our goal will be reached through research, communication and training…


  • Exploring methods for monitoring and conserving biodiversity, and for encouraging everyone to think more about the environment
  • Investigating ways to assess and improve animal welfare
  • Assessing the role of zoos in scientific research, conservation, animal welfare, and learning


  • Informing policymakers and conservation managers on all research findings to encourage conservation action
  • Contributing information to education programmes for UK and African people and schools
  • Liaising with industry and zoos to improve financial and logistical support for the environment
  • Raising awareness among the general public to improve interest and to encourage action


  • Offering highly competitive annual research internships, providing early-career scientists with training and experience in research design, execution, analysis, and reporting
  • Providing African villagers with the knowledge and techniques to live sustainably and to benefit financially from biodiversity conservation
  • Training African fieldworkers in ecological and socio-economic methods for monitoring conservation success
  • Advising and training conservation managers on monitoring and understanding ecosystem health and sustainable livelihoods
  • Active encouragement of increasing zoo support for field conservation, through guidance documents, presentations and mentoring


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