About Us

Our mission is to ensure the survival of small wild cats and their natural habitats worldwide. We do this by working with local partners around the world to identify and mitigate threats to the world’s small wild cats.

Dr. Jim Sanderson
Founder and Director

Who We Are

Jim Sanderson received a Ph.D from the University of New Mexico in 1976. Jim is the Program Manager for Wild Cat Conservation at Global Wildlife Conservation.  He is the founder and director of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation, a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, a review board member of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and a Fellow of Wildlife Conservation Network.

Jim’s mission is to ensure the survival of small wild cats and their natural habitats worldwide. This mission is achieved by working with local partners around the world to identify and mitigate threats to the world’s small wild cats.  In 1996 Jim used radio-telemetry to better understand habitat fragmentation and landscape connectivity, and conservation issues of Guignas (Leopardus guigna) in Chile.  With Bolivian and Chilean colleagues, Jim captured and radio-collared the first Andean cat in May, 2004. He has also used camera phototraps to survey wildlife populations and monitor biodiversity in South America, Africa, Asia, and SE Asia.  Jim’s photograph of the Andean cat appeared in the February 2000 issue of National Geographic. With Chinese colleagues, Jim got the first pictures of the Chinese mountain cat in the wild. He has written four books and published more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles.

What We Do

The Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation (SWCCF) works with partners and organizations around the world reducing and mitigating threats to small wild cats. SWCCF raises awareness of small wild cats and calls attention to the threats they face.

SWCCF has teamed with the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MbZSCF). Jim is on the review team of the MbZSCF and is responsible for reviewing and recommending all wild cat proposals received by the fund. MbZSCF meets three times to per year. SWCCF contributes funds so that more wild cat conservation proposals can be funded. At a recent review MbZSCF awarded $36,000 to various wild cat conservation proposals. SWCCF contributed $11,000 of this total.

SWCCF incorporated in California (tax id number C2850475)

SWCCF is a federal not-for profit 501(c)3 charity(EIN 26-1368021)

Select “Small Wild Cats” from the drop-down menu.

Our Fantastic Partners

Working Groups and other notable conservation organisations

Global Wildlife Conservation

Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) is a global force for the conservation of wildlife, who work with partners around the world to prevent some of the world’s most threatened species from vanishing forever.

Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

An elevated place for species in the global conservation debate and a thriving global community of well-resourced species conservationists.

Wildlife Conservation Network

WCN saves endangered species in 37 countries around the world by supporting independent wildlife conservationists.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

International Union for Conservation of Nature

Influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

Rare Species Fund

Enhance wild species populations through the support of grassroots wildlife conservation projects, the maintenance of genetically representative viable populations of captive wildlife and the education of the public about conservation issues through the use of animal ambassadors.

Guigna Working Group


Black-footed Cat Working Group

South Africa

South East Asian Cat Working Group

Borneo, Sumatra

Manul Working Group

Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Uzbekistan

Fishing Cat Working Group

Cambodia, India, Java, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam

Cat Specialist Group

The IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group aims to conserve the 38 wild living cat species and to raise awareness of their status and conservation needs.