Gilman International Conservation Foundation

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White Oak Conservation Center "is one of the world's premiere wildlife breeding, research, and training facilities. The Center, located along the St. Mary's River in northeast Florida, spans 600 acres and is surrounded by 6,800 acres of pine and hardwood forest and wetlands.

"Co-founded in 1982 by philanthropist Howard Gilman and conservation biologist and current president John Lukas, White Oak Conservation Center provides conservation options for the future by maintaining genetically diverse populations of threatened species in spacious, natural facilities. With a complex of research, husbandry, education and conference facilities, the Center leads professional efforts to improve veterinary care, develop holistic animal management techniques, and better understand the biology of critically endangered species. " [1]

'From this location in the U.S., White Oak Conservation Center manages the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP). Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), the OCP includes a breeding and research station for the okapi in the middle of the Ituri Rainforest. Many zoos and wildlife institutions provide financial support, offering the fiscal resources needed to manage a 13,700 square kilometer reserve for okapi and many other species of indigenous wildlife. In Africa and Asia, through the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), White Oak Conservation Center is supporting intensely managed sanctuaries and protective measures for the most endangered of the world’s rhino species. White Oak Conservation Center encourages the involvement of local people and national governments in field projects so that the long-term cultural support is in place for the projects to succeed and contribute to the conservation of the earth’s natural diversity." [2]

Senior Staff

Accessed June 2010: [3]

  • John Lukas - President and Co-founder
  • Steve Shurter - Director, International Projects (Gilman International Conservation), Director (White Oak Conservation Center)
  • Scott Citino - Staff Veterinarian
  • Linda Penfold - Adjunct Research Coordinator

International Partners



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Home, Gilman International Conservation Foundation, accessed June 16, 2010.
  2. About, Gilman International Conservation Foundation, accessed June 16, 2010.
  3. Staff, Gilman International Conservation Foundation, accessed June 16, 2010.