Future for Wildlife program

What began as an effort to protect penguins in Peru has grown into a worldwide conservation program for threatened and endangered species and ecosystems.

The Future for Wildlife program is an ongoing partnership between the Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Zoo Foundation that provides grants to local and global conservation efforts.

Community support has played a crucial role throughout the program's history. In 1998, Dr. David Shepherdson, deputy conservation manager, visited Punta San Juan, Peru, where he learned about the desperate need for funding to protect a colony of endangered Humboldt penguins. When he returned to the zoo, he worked with the foundation to raise funds for the project, forming the basis of the Future for Wildlife program.

In addition to donations from the community, Future for Wildlife support comes from a 25-cent fee on zoo ticket sales and contributions from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife regional wildlife crime court settlements.


Future for Wildlife grants have helped to protect species ranging from the California condor to the giant panda. A portion of the funding is dedicated to helping species in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Help re-establish Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit populations in their historic range; verify species and determine population of origin in egg masses presumed to belong to Oregon spotted frogs.

Coastal Raptors

Assess contaminant levels in avian scavengers - including turkey vultures, bald eagles and ravens - feeding on marine mammal carcasses along the Oregon and Washington coasts.

Oregon Native Turtle Working Group

Survey native turtle and amphibian populations in the Portland metro region.

PSU/ Pacific University

Assess contaminant levels in stranded Steller sea lions and harbor seals.

Portland State University

Investigate differences in microhabitat use between endangered Oregon spotted frogs and invasive American bullfrogs.

U.S. Geological Survey

Help determine the status of pikas — a mammal especially sensitive to climate change — in the Columbia River Gorge.

Ventana Wildlife Society

Monitor California condors' lead exposure in central California.

Cascadia Wild

Survey rare high-elevation Washington carnivores such as Cascade red fox and wolverine.

The Future for Wildlife program is not accepting new grant applications at this time. Please check back soon for information about applying.