Wildlife Conservation Expo 2017

WCN will be hosting our annual

Wildlife Conservation Expo in October!

Our Wildlife Conservation Expos are unique opportunities for wildlife lovers to come together as a community and hear first hand from field baseconservation heroes, who will travel from around the world to bring you stories of saving endangered species. We hope you can join us.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mission Bay Conference Center
1675 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA

Buy Tickets

For the 8th year, Dr. Jane Goodall will again join us for the Wildlife Conservation Expo, but her talk will now be a stand alone event a few days before the Expo. Please join us to hear Dr. Goodall at the Nourse Theatre on Wed. Oct 11, 2017. Click here for more information

Directions & Parking (pdf)  ·  Public Transportation  ·  View the Expo Invite (pdf)

For questions about the Expo, please email events@wildnet.org.

Expo Speaker Schedule

The speaker schedule is subject to change; please visit this page for future updates

  Robertson Auditorium
Second Floor
Fisher Banquet Room
Ground Floor
10:00–11:00 am
Welcome by Charles Knowles
Wildlife Conservation Network
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Frank Pope (Elephants)
Welcome by Dr. Jean-Gaël Collomb
Wildlife Conservation Network
Dr. Asha de Vos (Blue Whales)
11:00–11:30 am
11:30 am–12:30 pm
Wild Lions I Wild Africa
Dr. Shivani Bhalla & Jeneria Lekilelei (Ewaso Lions), Dr. Colleen Begg (Niassa Lion Project), and Dr. Peter Lindsey (WCN).
The panel ends at 12:45 PM
Dr. Jorgelina Marino (Ethiopian Wolves)
Robyn Appleton (Spectacled Bears)
12:30–1:30 pm
A boxed lunch will be available for purchase for $15
1:30–2:00 pm
Rosamira Guillen (Cotton-top Tamarins)
Peter Blinston (Painted Dogs)
2:00–2:30 pm
2:30–3:30 pm
John Lukas (Okapis)

Dr. Julian Fennessy (Giraffes)
Rebecca Klein and Jane Horgan (Cheetahs)
Olya Esipova (Saiga Antelopes)
3:30–4:00 pm
4:00–5:00 pm
Dr. Sam Williams (Great-Green Macaws)
Dr. Pablo Garcia Borboroglu (Penguins)
Dr. Jim Sanderson with Anya Ratnayaka (Small Wild Cats)
Rocio Palacios and Rodrigo Villalobos (Andean Cats)
5:00–5:15 pm
5:15–5:45 pm
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins (Rewilding Patagonia)
Dr. Rachel Graham (Sharks and Rays)

Also be sure to visit Cheetah Conservation Fund, Grevy's Zebra Trust, and Snow Leopard Conservancy at their Expo tables!

WCN Partners

Meet our terrific partners and guests in attendance for the Fall Expo.

Photo: Rachel Kramer

Ewaso Lions 
Dr. Shivani Bhalla and Jeneria Lekilelei 

In the wilds of northern Kenya, people must live alongside predators, the biggest of which is the lion. With only 2,000 lions left in Kenya, this region serves as an important habitat for the big cats. Ewaso Lions use community outreach and education programs to engage local people in conservation and to give back to the community.

Niassa Lion Project 
Dr. Colleen Begg

Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique is one of the last great wild places on Earth, as well as an important stronghold for African lions. Niassa Lion Project combines scientific rigor with passion, empathy, and sound management practices. For them, conservation is as much about people as it is about lions.

Painted Dog Conservation 
Peter Blinston

Painted dogs are incredibly social creatures who used to range across Africa. Today there are less than 6,600 remaining. Painted Dog Conservation is headquartered in Zimbabwe where they work closely with locals to protect the dogs from the impacts of snare poaching and habitat destruction.

Andean Cat Alliance 
Rocio Palacios and Rodrigo Villalobos

Andean cats are one of the most elusive felids in the world, living high in the Andes Mountains and Patagonia Steppe. The Andean Cat Alliance operates across the cat’s range to protect an endangered species that they may never see and the place it calls home.

Cheetah Conservation Botswana 
Rebecca Klein and Jane Horgan

Botswana is a stronghold for cheetahs and Cheetah Conservation Botswana’s main task is improving community perceptions towards cheetahs and other carnivores. heetah Conservation Botswana works to create initiatives to meet community needs and to allow cheetahs to remain as a flagship species of the country.

Cheetah Conservation Fund
Dr. Laurie Marker

Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the first and longest-running organization dedicated to saving cheetahs. Founded by Dr. Laurie Marker and based out of Namibia, the country with the most wild cheetahs, CCF employs a holistic approach that addresses the needs of both people and wildlife.

Proyecto Titi 
Rosamira Guillen

Cotton-top tamarins are one of the most endangered primates in the world, found only in northwestern Colombia. Many Colombians living near their forest home don’t know that these small monkeys are endangered. Proyecto Titi aims to change this by providing information about the cotton-top and providing employment opportunities for the locals to protect the forest and the monkeys.

Save the Elephants 
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Frank Pope

Save the Elephants (STE) —led by Dr. Iain Douglas Hamilton—serves as a long-term protector of elephants and their advocate on an international stage. As the poaching crisis has taken hold, STE has led the charge to save Africa’s elephants both in Kenya, where they are based, and across the world.

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program 
Dr. Jorgelina Marino

Dr. Jorgelina Marino has been working with Ethiopian wolves for over 20 years. She serves as the Research Director of the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program (EWCP), an organization—founded and directed by Dr. Claudio Sillero—that focuses on saving this rarest of canids. Working closely with local communities and partners, EWCP plays a crucial role in fending off infectious disease outbreaks and expanding its wolf conservation efforts across Ethiopia.

Grevy’s Zebra Trust 
Belinda Low Mackey

Grevy’s zebras can be distinguished from other zebra species by their charming, large round ears. Although they’re well suited for a dry environment, overgrazing by local pastoralists has seen their landscape destroyed. Grevy’s Zebra Trust engages local people to protect the remaining Grevy’s zebra and their habitat.


Okapi Conservation Project 
Dr. John Lukas

Okapis are the last major mammal discovered in Africa, living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country known as much for its political strife as for its remarkable biodiversity. For the past 30 years, the Okapi Conservation Project has protected the okapi from the threats of poaching and habitat loss from slash and burn agriculture and illegal mining.

Global Penguin Society 
Dr. Pablo Garcia Borboroglu

Most people only think of penguins as living in a frigid environment. In reality, they're found across a variety of climates throughout the Southern Hemisphere, from freezing Arctic cold to searing desert heat to the warmth of the tropics. Global Penguin Society promotes penguin conservation worldwide, implementing a united front for the protection of this charismatic flightless bird.


Saiga Conservation Alliance 
Olya Esipova

The saiga is a relic of the Ice Age, an unusual antelope that is perfectly adapted to its life in the steppe and semi-arid desert of Central Asia and Russia. Today their population faces threats like illegal poaching for their horns, and devastating disease outbreaks that have wiped out their numbers by the thousands. The Saiga Conservation Alliance works across the saiga’s range to secure its future.

Photo: Pete Oxford

Dr. Rachel Graham

Despite their intimidating reputations, sharks have more to fear from us than we do of them. Both sharks and rays are vulnerable to human induced threats like pollution, climate change, overfishing, and global demand for their meat and fins, which are contributing to severe declines in their populations. MarAlliance works to conserve sharks, rays, and other marine life throughout the Americas, Micronesia, and Cabo Verde.


Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation 
Dr. Jim Sanderson, and Anya Ratnayaka (Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project)

With 36 species of wild cats in the world, few people are familiar with their 22 smaller cousins. Small cats around the world are threatened by loss of habitat, prey, indiscriminate killing, and conflict with humans. Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation is leading the way in protecting small endangered cats around the world.

In 2013, Anya Ratnayaka founded the Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project and, as part of her research, she became the first researcher in the world to collar and track fishing cats using GPS. This data is already shedding new light on the behavior patterns of translocated and resident fishing cats in an urban habitat. This has been a cause for concern since translocating problem animals is a common practice in Sri Lanka.

Snow Leopard Conservancy 
Dr. Rodney Jackson

The strikingly beautiful but endangered snow leopard remains one of the world’s most mysterious cats, living high in the mountains of Central Asia over an expansive twelve-country range. As people move into the snow leopard’s traditional habitat, conflicts can arise with pastoralists protecting their livestock or seeking to make a profit from their skins. Snow Leopard Conservancy engages local people to build harmony between people and the endangered snow leopard.

Spectacled Bear Conservation 
Robyn Appleton

Spectacled bears are the only bear species found in South America, named for the markings around their eyes that give them the appearance of wearing glasses. This rare charismatic bear is highly endangered due to habitat fragmentation and conflicts with the local people. Spectacled Bear Conservation involves the local people in conservation and educates them about the importance of spectacled bears to the ecosystem.

Special Guest Speakers


The Ara Project
Dr. Sam Williams

With just 1500 individuals left the magnificent Great-green Macaw teeters on the edge of extinction. The Ara Project collaborates with partners across the parrot’s range to boost their population in the short term while also protecting and reconnecting habitat for the long-term. The Ara Project hopes to see thriving populations of these colorful and charismatic birds flying over protected forests throughout their range. 

Giraffe Conservation Foundation 
Dr. Julian Fennessy

In the past few decades, the world’s giraffe population has dropped by almost 40 percent, leaving less than 100,000 individuals. Many of their populations are decreasing or unstable due to habitat loss, poaching, and human population growth. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) is the only NGO in the world that concentrates solely on the conservation and management of giraffe in the wild throughout Africa.
GCF recently made a discovery about giraffes that shook the scientific community. Read all about it here!

Dr. Asha de Vos

Dr. Asha de Vos from OceanSwell is a world-renowned marine biologist and a TED Fellow known for her presentation, “Why You Should Care About Whale Poo”, which exceeded 1 million views. Her work with whales is focused on the “unusual population” of Northern Indian Ocean blue whales who choose to aggregate off southern Sri Lanka throughout the year, which is a high-risk area from passing ship traffic.

Tompkins Conservation
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins is an American conservationist and former CEO of Patagonia, Inc. Since 1993, she has worked to create new national parks, recover imperiled wildlife, and operate organic farms in South America. Kris and her late husband Douglas Tompkins (who died in 2015) are frequently lauded as the most ambitious and successful national park-oriented philanthropists in history, helping to secure millions of acres of new parklands in Chile and Argentina. She will be speaking at the Expo about wildlife and its connection to her life's work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy tickets at the door for the Expo?
Yes, unless we sell out. If we do, it will be explicitly stated on our website. We did sell out last year, so be sure to purchase your tickets as soon as they go on sale.

I don’t see Dr. Jane Goodall on the schedule. Will she be in attendance this year? 
For the 8th year, Dr. Jane Goodall will again join us for the Wildlife Conservation Expo, but her talk will now be a stand alone event a few days before the Expo. Please join us to hear Dr. Goodall at the Nourse Theatre on Wed. Oct 11, 2017. Click here for more information 

Is the Expo easy to find?
Yes! The Expo is located near AT&T Park, at the eastern edge of the city. It can be easily accessed from the major freeways and public transportation. Please click here for directions and visit 511.org for public transportation information.

Is there parking at the Expo?
Yes! There are two large parking garages in the area. The Mission Bay Conference Center (Expo venue) has its own attached multi-level garage. Parking is $3.75 per hour or $30 per day (7+ hours).

Will there be food at the Expo?
Yes, there will be snacks and drinks available for purchase all day inside Mission Bay Conference Center’s café until 4:00pm. A boxed lunch will be available for purchase for $15 at the event. Lunch will be available from 12:30-1:30pm. Please note that the café can get overwhelmed at peak meal hours.

Can I bring my kids?
Children are welcome at the Expo however the presentations are geared towards adults. Children over 8 years old may find some of the presentations interesting. Children must be supervised at all times.

What if I miss an Expo presentation?
All of the presentations will be available online here on our website after the Expo. You may see previous year's presentations by clicking here.

Is my Expo ticket purchase a tax-deductible donation?
No, the Fair Market Value of the event is the face value of the ticket. However any donation made in excess of the ticket purchase price is fully tax-deductible.

Can I volunteer to help?
Yes, we are always in need of helping hands to make the event a success. If you are interested in volunteering part or all of the day please contact volunteer@wildnet.org or call 415-202-6392.

Exhibiting Organizations

In addition to our fantastic partners and guest speakers, the following organizations will be exhibiting at the Expo:

Thank you to our outstanding sponsors for the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo!

  Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation   Sac Zoo   Houston Zoo  
Disney Conservation Fund   Leiden Conservation Foundation   San Diego Zoo Wildlife Conservancy   Safari West




Saturday, October 14, 2017




Mission Bay Conference Center San Francisco, CA