Vice President and Lead Scientist, Conservation Science Program
Eric began his conservation work in 1975 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, where he conducted a census of the tiger population in the Karnali-Bardia Wildlife Reserve. This experience got him thinking and led him to champion the idea of looking at the protection of species beyond the boundaries of a park and protecting their habitat at the larger landscape level. Considered groundbreaking at the time, this approach is now standard practice for large-mammal conservation.
An 18-year veteran of WWF, Eric is an innovator. He has helped develop strategies to protect a number of endangered species including one-horned rhinos, tigers and elephants. He also led an unprecedented effort to identify every ecoregion on the planet and define the most biologically important species. Known as the Global 200, it serves as a framework that guides WWF's fieldwork in more than 100 countries.
In Eric's view, the single greatest challenge for conservation worldwide is to stop the loss of habitat around the world. He spends tremendous amount of time interacting with the public, drawing attention to the importance of conservation and related issues such as climate change. "I try to make people, especially those in their teens and 20s, understand that they could see the end of many species in their lifetime."
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“We must decide how many of Earth's 15,000,000 species receive a ticket on the ark to the next century. By protecting forests, deserts, grasslands, coral reefs, lakes, rivers and streams, WWF commits to guaranteeing their safe passage.”
More on Eric
Vice President and Lead Scientist
- Post-Doctoral Fellow - Ecology of rhinos and tigers in Nepal, The National Zoo
- PhD - Ecology of fruit bats, University of Washington
- MS - Prey species of tigers, University of Washington
Areas of Expertise
- Tropical mammals
- Large mammal biology
- Old-growth forests
- Global biodiversity, community ecology and conservation priorities
- Conservation biology of the rhinoceros and the recovery of other Asian animals