James Biggs – Director, Conservation & Population Management

I acknowledge the First Nations people of the land on which I work - the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation. My ancestors settled on stolen land in the rainforest nation of Djirbalngan. I was born and grew up on Djabuganjdji country. I lived on Kuku Yalanji, Gimuy Walubara Yidinjdji, Gubbi Gubbi, and now Gadigal land.

These lands are home to the oldest living cultures on earth. For over 65,000 years our First Nations peoples have been the custodians of these lands and waters. I recognise the unbroken connection of First Nations people to country despite all the odds, and their continuing efforts to keep nature, people and culture living strong. I pay my respect to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

I will continue to respect, engage and listen to first nations people. I’ll continue working to conserve wildlife and country.

Throughout his career, James has worked in various supervisory and management roles across animal care, small population management, staff development, research and policy. He actively participates on several national and international Threatened Species Recovery Teams, Steering Committees, and National and International Advisory Groups.  Also, James is Species Coordinator for a handful of native and exotic ZAA-managed programs, and Chair of the ZAA Australian Mammal Taxon Advisory Group.

In the ZAA Office, James is primarily responsible for the delivery of Regional Species Planning and Management services to the membership and was instrumental in the development of ZAAs Regional Species Planning framework and Policy shake-up. He ensures that ZAA strategy development and execution continue to grow organisational and sector outputs in conservation. James directs various significant projects related to threatened species assessment and planning.

James is passionate about helping others to succeed and strives to create meaningful connections amongst stakeholders across the in situ, ex situ continuum. He plays a key role in building relationships, partnerships and alliances with authorities, non-government organisations, other regional associations, and members, for the ZAA membership.

As a practitioner, James works with leading scientists, ZAA members and others in applying cutting-edge science and structured decision-making processes to help understand and fix real-world problems in small population management and biodiversity conservation. He helps to bridge the gap between academic outputs and implementation of on-ground conservation action.  

James looks forward to one day embarking on post-graduate studies in Policy and Governance, with the view to further influence relationships and policy for the mutual benefit of wildlife and humans.

He enjoys meeting people, cooking, reading, hiking and beer.