Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation

April 24, 2021

11:15 am PDT

There are over 30 species of small wild cats around the world, many of which are unknown to most people. The Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation (SWCCF) strives to raise awareness and defend these rare cats from a variety of threats, such as shrinking habitat, loss of prey, and conflicts with humans, livestock, and domestic animals. Since they are often difficult to locate, little is known about many small wild cat species, which is why SWCCF’s work is so vital to their survival. SWCCF works with local partners on nearly every continent to study small wild cats, identifying and mitigating threats to save them and their habitat. They also hold conferences with other small cat researchers to broaden scientific understanding of these mysterious felines.



Dr. Jim Sanderson


Dr. Jim Sanderson has over 4 decades of experience in the conservation of small cats. He is the founder and director of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation (SWCCF). In 2004, Jim was the first person to capture and radio-collar an Andean cat; his images of Andean cats have also been featured in National Geographic. Jim was also the first person to ever photograph the Chinese mountain cat in the wild. Jim has a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and is the Program Manager for Wild Cat Conservation at Global Wildlife Conservation. He is also a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and a review board member of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.


Tadeu Gomes de Oliveira

Regional Coordinator for Northern South America, SWCCF

Tadeu is a Professor at Maranhão State University in Brazil, a researcher for the Instituto Pró-Carnívoros, the Regional Coordinator for Northern South America of SWCCF, the founder and chair of the Tiger Cats Conservation Initiative, and a member of IUCN's Cat Specialist Group. His main interests are the ecology, conservation, threat mitigation, and natural history of wild small cats, particularly the northern tiger cat, which is found in Brazil's Mirador State Park. Currently, Tadeu is leading a long-term, countrywide program focusing on the ecology and conservation of the seven smallest Brazilian felids, which is making significant contributions towards their conservation, population and habitat monitoring, and status assessment.

Photography credit: Thierry Plaud