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Wild Animal Initiative

July 2023: RC Forward has made changes to how it operates. Fundraising is paused for most campaigns. We advise donors to give tax-effectively if possible while prioritizing impact over tax benefits. If you wish to donate to this charity directly without a donation receipt, please donate on their website. To make a donation eligible for a donation receipt, please visit our new donation page (link). For more information, please read our update (link). Contact us (link) if you have questions or need support.

Wild Animal Initiative is a nonprofit research organization that strives to understand and improve the lives of wild animals. Through research, grants, and professional services, the team at Wild Animal Initiative supports the global community of scientists exploring questions about wild animal suffering and welfare.

About this charity

The natural world can be a source of great beauty and happiness for humans and animals alike. But life in the wild can also be brutal. For many wild animals, it’s a constant struggle to avoid harms such as natural disasters, disease, starvation, and resource competition.

Wild Animal Initiative believes it’s possible for people to make changes that will alleviate wild animals’ suffering and improve their well-being. But interventions can have harmful unintended consequences if they are not properly researched first. Because wild animals have diverse needs and ecosystems are complex, people will need scientific data to inform the interventions they design. 

That’s why Wild Animal Initiative’s ultimate goal is to advance the field of welfare biology. We believe it’s the most promising way to produce a critical mass of research necessary to help wild animals effectively and at scale. Our work centers on three main programs:

  1. Research: We produce research to answer important questions about wild animals’ lives, which can include things like: How is individual welfare influenced by population density? How do genetics affect the ways individual animals experience the world? What are the best practices for monitoring wild animals?
  2. Grants: We fund promising research projects at universities and other institutions. We’ve funded researchers investigating biomarkers of stress in songbirds, sentience evolution in octopuses, effects of farmland management on caterpillars, and much more. 
  3. Services: We facilitate networking and collaboration opportunities to help interdisciplinary scientists around the world who are interested in welfare biology. 

Your donation will support these programs and help us support the establishment of an academic field fully dedicated to wild animal welfare science.

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