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. The 2014 grant recipients are:

Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School

Supporting field-based conservation biology research.

Portland State University

Investigating the origin of harbor seals and harbor porpoises with documented organochlorine levels of concern stranded on the beaches of Oregon and southern Washington.

Coastal Raptors

Examining the risk of contaminant exposure for the feasibility of California condor re-introduction in the Pacific Northwest.

Cascadia Wild

Supporting rare high-elevation carnivores such as the red fox, wolverine, Canada lynx and wolf.

Northwest Trek

Supporting Oregon spotted frog captive-rearing and release.

Humboldt State University

Investigating den-attendance of fishers and potential impacts of the timber harvest on fisher den ecology.

Portland State University

Microhabitat partitioning of endangered Oregon spotted frogs and invasive American bullfrogs.

High Desert Museum

Assessing the shooting of ground squirrels as a vector for lead exposure in scavenging birds of prey.


In this video, learn more about the Future for Wildlife program and hear from community members who are inspired to support the Oregon Zoo's conservation efforts.