Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Policy on scientific collecting of biodiversity specimens on WLT Funded reserves

On any nature reserve, the acquisition of which has been funded, or partially funded, by the WLT, there is a presumption against killing of native species (animals and plants). Indeed, regardless of the scientific justification for collecting specimens, the act of collection is detrimental to the credibility of the wildlife conservation message which WLT partner organisations work incessantly to convey to the local, national and international community.

However, provided there are sound conservation reasons for collecting limited numbers of specimens, programme partners will have the right to authorise individual scientists, or research institutions, to collect specimens for the agreed purposes. The criteria for compatibility of the specimen collection process with conservation objectives will be defined for each individual case by the WLT programme partners.

Partner organisations agree to consult with the WLT over the issue of any permissions to collect that are likely to be controversial, provided such consultation is feasible, but the WLT acknowledges the rights of the partner organisation to make the final decision. All necessary permits must be obtained in advance and the specimens must be reported in accordance with applicable in-country permits and legal requirements. For protected areas that are managed by governments, collecting practices would have to adhere to the host government's own policies; however every effort will be made to adopt this policy on WLT-funded reserves.

Under no circumstances should partner organisations authorise the deliberate killing or removal of any species listed as Threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable) or Data Deficient in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species or in their National Red List. Normally collecting will be confined to those species where voucher specimens are essential for identification purposes, and only when there is evidence that the species concerned is sufficiently numerous as to allow the removal of one or more specimens.

Furthermore, any necessary collecting process will take place using techniques which minimise any potential disturbance to the surrounding species or habitats as well as any animal suffering.

  1. This policy does not affect the collecting of blood, feather, hair, bones, skulls and other samples, seeds and other non-lethal forms of sampling.
  2. The policy does not relate to subsistence hunting by local and indigenous communities or to hunting/culling for species management, if this has been agreed in advance and was a condition of the purchase of the land.  

PDF file Download a Spanish translation of this collecting policy as a PDF file (72KB) (opens in a new window)

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Partners who have signed up to the above policy:

  • LEAP
  • GESG
  • Ecominga
  • FPWC
  • Provita
  • Nature Kenya
  • Pro-bosque
  • WCST
  • FPN
  • Programme for Belize
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