About Conservation Evidence


Conservation Evidence is a free, authoritative information resource designed to support decisions about how to maintain and restore global biodiversity.

We summarise evidence from the scientific literature (studies) about the effects of conservation actions such as methods of habitat or species management. We produce synopses of evidence that review the effectiveness of all actions you could implement to conserve a given species group or habitat or to tackle a particular conservation issue. Expert panels are then asked to assess the effectiveness (or not) of actions, based on the summarized evidence (for more details see What Works in Conservation). We also publish new evidence in our online Conservation Evidence Journal.

Our ongoing review process continually extracts evidence from journals and other sources of evidence. So far we have searched over 330 English journals, with 30 important conservation journals (such as Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Ecology, Journal of Applied Ecology, Oryx) and systematic reviews published by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence searched regularly. We have also searched over 325 non-English journals.  In addition, we search 'grey literature' such as report series to focus on particular species groups or habitats. For more details see methods 'Finding evidence'. 

As well as the existing synopses, we are currently developing new synopses on a range of subjects (see protocols). Additional topics are also being added to the synopses on the control of invasive species. We are also currently updating the synopsis on the conservation of birds.

The idea is to give conservationists easy access to the latest and most relevant knowledge to support conservation policy or management decisions.

Simply search for your species, habitat or issue of interest. Our site will present you with a list of possible actions you could take, along with a plain English summary of the available evidence for whether each one is effective (or not). It will also provide expert assessment of the effectiveness, based on the summarized evidence (see What Works in Conservation).

We do not make recommendations. This is because it is difficult to give evidence-based conservation advice that is appropriate for every context. Instead, we provide evidence and an assessment of that evidence, which should be interpreted by conservationists who understand their own site and national or regional situation.

This short video provides more information on evidence-based conservation and the Conservation Evidence project. 

Here is a short film about our work featuring Sir David Attenborough.

Using the Conservation Evidence website

Watch this short video for tips on how to use the Conservation Evidence website.

Conservation Evidence team

Conservation Evidence is based at the University of Cambridge, UK, with collaborators and advisers in all continents of the world. The project was conceived by William J. Sutherland and is managed by Rebecca K Smith.

For the full team, including 70 synopsis authors, see Conservation Evidence team.

In addition, over 310 international experts have been members of synopses advisory boards and over 230 have been on expert assessment panels.

Additional published outputs

As well as publishing What Works in Conservation and our synopses, we also produce scientific articles, using the information collated or as part of the Conservation Evidence project, and contribute to popular articles such as blogs. View our list of additional published outputs.

Additional projects and collaborations

As well as collating the documented evidence, we also work on numerous other projects and collaborations to make the use and applicaiton of this evidence easier.

Support Conservation Evidence

Conservation Evidence relies on support to continue its vital work to collate and share global evidence and co-design processes and tools that improve the outcomes for nature. 

You can help transform conservation practice by supporting our work here.

Find out more here.


Join the Funders for Effective Conservation, a group of funders who wish to see improved conservation practice through building on the lessons of successes and failures in this sector and recognise the importance of this to global conservation.

Support received

The funding of the Miriam Rothschild Chair in Conservation Biology through Arcadia enabled the development of the website and the Conservation Evidence Journal.

Conservation Evidence currently has funding from the A.G Leventis Foundation, AI@Cam, Cambridge Conservation Initiative Collaborative FundCartier Fund for NatureEsmée Fairbairn FoundationFormas (a Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development), The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, Lord and Lady Moran and the Natural Environment Research Council and has previously received funding from Arcadia, the British Ecological SocietyCambridge Conservation Initiative Collaborative Fund, the David and Claudia Harding Foundation, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the Economic and Social Research CouncilMAVANatural England, OceankindSouth West Water, Synchronicity EarthThe Nature Conservancy, Waitrose Ltd and Wetlands International.



What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust