Dr George Wilson

Hon Professor
ANU College of Science
T: +61 2 62812160

Areas of expertise

  • Wildlife And Habitat Management 050211
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Environmental Knowledge 050201
  • Ecological Impacts Of Climate Change 050101
  • Veterinary Epidemiology 070704
  • Conservation And Biodiversity 050202
  • Invasive Species Ecology 050103
  • Other Environmental Sciences 4199

Research interests

Conservation and improved animal welfare through sustainable wildlife use on the rangelands.

Indigenous land and wildlife management

Veterinary conservation biology and aerial surveys

Carbon management and production of low emission kangaroo meat



George Wilson has worked for >50 yrs in a range of wildlife, environmental, agricultural and disease management occupations. His experience covers surveys, ecological research, Indigenous land management, advice to governments and industry on resource management, animal welfare, quarantine and disease management.

He has worked for both State & Federal Governments and British Government agencies in scientific research, public policy, and strategic analysis. 

In the last decade, he has given lectures for several teaching and postgraduate courses at ANU. He is mentoring postgraduate students enrolled in the Fenner School of Environment and Society. He has published more than 180 papers, reviews, wildlife management plans, chapters and written three books.

In the early 1980s he was Director of the first government program that sought to integrate conservation and development - the National Conservation Strategy in the Dept of Environment.

In 1994 Dr Wilson left the Bureau Resource Sciences, after 7 years a Branch Head / Senior Principal Research Scientist. He managed research programmes in the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and broadened his economic understanding while working for 3 years with ACIL Economics and Policy Pty Ltd.

Dr Wilson has a particular interest in kangaroo management and supporting graziers to value kangaroos on their lands. His interest began in 1970 as a biologist with the NSW NPWS. In Scotland he worked on similar theme on Red Grouse and Red Deer, focusing on population ecology and disease management that maximises their value to landholders and so enables the species to compete with economic pressures to convert their habitat to sheep grasslands which have less biodiversity value.

His company Australian Wildlife Services has worked with Indigenous communities, farmers and graziers, natural resource managers, and zoos throughout Australia. Sustainable use leads to better animal welfare and the opportunity of saving methane emissions contributing to biodiversity conservation. 

Dr Wilson has > 4400 hours aeronautical experience as a commercial pilot conducting surveys of kangaroos and camels in central Australia and waterbird surveys down the Murray River. He collaborated with Graeme Caughley to conduct the first broad scale kangaroo surveys of Australia.

He has held many honorary positions including as Commissioner Emeritus with the IUCN Species Survival Commission in recognition of his chairmanship of the Australian Marsupial Specialist Group. In 2021 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for contributions to wildlife conservation, veterinary science and the community.

Researcher's projects

Kangaroo welfare, reduced land degradation, identification of carbon saving, biodiversity benefits and Indigenous opportunities 

Mapping the distribution and abundance of kangaroos and predicting densities in unsurveyed areas

Applying Market Economics to Conservation of Australian Wildlife – landowner opportunities from southern African experiences

Scientific support for Indigenous Protected Areas

Improving Indigenous Land Management Governance; How Indigenous Directors and Board members might be better equipped to deal with the financial and management responsibilities placed on them 

Kangaroos, buffaloes and carbon credits.

Conservation of threatened mammals on provate lands




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Updated:  17 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers