Simon Hedges

Conservation Design and Planning Manager, ZSL

About Simon Hedges

I have over 30 years of experience of species conservation and protected area management; human–wildlife conflict mitigation; countering the illegal wildlife trade; conservation-related research; biodiversity surveys; monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL); impact evaluation; and wildlife policy formulation, including the writing and implementation of action plans. Much of my time since 1988 has been spent in Asia and, from 2007, Asia and Africa. I spent the 1990s living and working in protected areas in Java, advising on their management with a particular focus on ungulates, wild dogs, and leopards. From 1998, I focused on elephants, particularly on the development of reliable monitoring methods, human–elephant conflict mitigation, and, since 2004, the ivory trade and the illegal killing of elephants. I worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) for 18 years, working to conserve elephants in partnership with other NGOs, communities, and governments, and ultimately coordinating WCS’s elephant conservation work in Asia and Africa.

In February 2018, I co-founded the NGO, Asian Arks, and served as its CEO until September 2020 with the aim of replicating and extending models of directly managing protected areas under long-term agreements with governments and communities, which the NGO African Parks and others have shown to be successful. From early 2018, I also worked as an independent consultant, partly to support the work of Asian Arks, which as a start-up was unable to pay for full-time staff. Consultancy projects completed include advising the Government of Mozambique on CITES policy, development of a threat monitoring protocol for protected areas and biodiversity offset sites in the Lao PDR, and a human–elephant conflict mitigation strategy for the Government of Gabon. Since December 2021, I have been employed by ZSL to lead the development of a robust conservation planning process to help ZSL’s teams design effective and adaptive long-term conservation strategies and deliver conservation impact.

Which category below best describes the type of organisation you currently work for/or run?

Charity/Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)

Areas of expertise

Land/Water Management Monitoring and evaluation Research Species Management

Would you be willing to be approached and share your lessons learned in your area(s) of expertise with our community?


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Recent Comments

Aug 08, 2022
Replying to Joao L B Guimaraes

Hello, @Simon Hedges , Thanks for posting this! Too late for sending application info?

Hi Joao,

You're just in time! Please send a CV and cover letter explaining why you'd be a good fit for the job (and whether you have the right to work in the UK) to

Good luck!


Aug 01, 2022
Replying to Thirza Loffeld

Hi @Simon Hedges , thanks for sharing these job opportunities at ZSL! Could you please add your posts to the room "job opportunities"? This is the only way that our members will be notified of your posts by email. Thanks and please let us know if you have any questions. 

Hi Thirza - all tree posts are included in the room "job opportunities" and badged "Opportunities". Thanks! Simon

Aug 01, 2022
Replying to Lize Gibson-Hall

Thank you so much for posting this @Simon Hedges. Feel free to add an appropriate banner image if you would like, we find it helps draw the attention of our members!

Thanks for the suggestion!