Wildlife Conservation & Anti-Poaching Groups
There are frequent troubling articles in the news about endangered species and the environment. But what is less talked about are the many organizations achieving success in conserving wildlife species and their habitats. There are many ways to support these groups either through monetary donations or by volunteering your time and energy. Some conservation groups even allow you to fundraise for them from your local area.
PoachingFacts has reviewed a number of ethical organizations with successful front-line field programs in Africa and Asia and we have created a list of those with with a greater than expected impact in their region. The conservation groups listed below have been vetted for quality and effectiveness of their programs and are good choices for donating time or money and are safe to get involved with. These programs focus on aspects of wildlife conservation or rehabilitation, preserving the natural environment, solving human-wildlife conflict, and other essential ways that mutually benefit humans, wildlife, and the ecosystems that they share. Some organizations also offer volunteer field opportunities for wildlife conservation, rehabilitation, and even anti-poaching efforts, allowing anyone of any skill level and interest to find a way to get involved in wildlife conservation.
We highly recommend each of these unique groups for their services to humanity and the world. Also keep in mind that donating to a non-profit or charitable organization registered in your country can be tax-deductible. See the column on the right side of the page for qualifying countries.
Disclaimer: The below list has been vetted based on actual charity status, responsiveness to inquiry by email or phone, and previous records of suitable conduct. While we strive to maintain an up-to-date list, PoachingFacts takes no responsibility for the organization’s continued charity status or activities. We are not affiliated with any of the organizations listed below unless otherwise stated.
|African Wildlife Foundation – Operating since 1961 (initially as African Wildlife Leadership Foundation) the Foundation has worked to conserve large regions of ecological importance throughout Africa. Currently they support direct efforts to protect and maintain these areas as well as work with national and local governments to research and define conservation policy that benefits the humans and wildlife in key regions. Registered as a non-profit in USA.||USA|
|Animals Asia – Operating in Asia as a charitable organization since 1998, Animals Asia focuses on rescuing bears from illegal captivity as has been praised by numerous organizations and governments, including China, for their exemplary performance. They operate rescue centers and sanctuaries for bears in Vietnam and the only internationally accredited center in China, both of which have legal and illegal large-scale commercial bear farming operations. They also work to change the dog and cat meat trade as well as provide care for abandoned or stray animals. Animals Asia works to improve animal welfare and strive for sustainable solutions through education and activism at local and governmental levels. A variety of volunteer opportunities and online donations are available. Registered as a non-profit in several countries.||AUS DEU ITA HK UK USA|
|Awely, Wildlife and People – Since 2005, France-based Awely has taken a holistic approach to protecting biodiversity and solving human-wildlife conflict by helping local communities and creating partnerships with local and international associations to accomplish a unified goal. Nearly a dozen projects support wildlife, preserve ecosystems, and benefit nearby communities through direct-action in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Condo, India, Peru, and Zambia, with past projects in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Vietnam. Awely is part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a democratic membership union with over 1,200 member-organizations from 160 countries.
The Awely website, social media, as well as their sister-site Awely-Tigers.org provide multilingual information on the organization’s philosophy and successes in addition to current and upcoming projects. Registered as a non-profit in France and a tax receipt is provided for tax-deductions. Donations are accepted through this site which takes Euros. Visa, MasterCard, Carte Bleue, and Paypal are accepted so that donations in any currency can be made.
|Big Life Foundation – Begun in 2010 as a response to the brazen poaching experienced in Kenya and Tanzania, photographer and Big Life co-founder and president Nick Brandt tapped the support and experience of experts in East Africa and has quickly established a successful conservation effort protecting 2 million acres of East Africa with a realistic outlook on long term solutions to human-wildlife conflict and poaching. Their sister project Big Life Canada provides volunteer and donor opportunities for Canadians. Registered as a charitable organization in both CAN and USA. UK residents can tax-effectively donate via this process through Save the Rhino International.||CAN UK USA|
|Cheetah Conservation Fund – Taking a holistic approach to conservation in Namibia for over 25 years, CCF works to both save the remaining cheetah, conserve their environment for the future, and to support and educate the local communities who are part of that ecosystem. CCF has worked hand-in-hand with numerous communities to improve their agricultural techniques, initiated a Livestock Guarding Dogs program to protect the livelihoods of farmers, and generally support coexistence. So strong is CCF’s commitment to the future coexistence that their Future Conservationists of Africa wildlife education and outreach initiative has reached 550,000 Namibian youth and adults. CCF also funds long-term genetic research into cheetah by supporting researchers along with a fully-equipped, in-situ genetics lab, the only one of its kind in Africa, and has collected biological samples from more than 1,000 cheetahs from the past 40 years. Registered as a charity in Namibia and the United States. In Australia, Canada, and Europe tax-deductible donations may be available if made through partnered non-profits.||Namibia USA|
|ChengetaWildlife.org – Provides free, comprehensive anti-poaching training to anti-poaching units throughout Africa deployed in volatile and essential regions. Operated solely by volunteers, 100% of donations go directly to providing the necessary training, equipment, and supplies to improve the effectiveness and knowledge of anti-poaching rangers. Training by Chengeta Wildlife yields short-term and long-term results. Over a two-week period during the 2015 dry season Chengeta-trained rangers arrested 81 poachers in Malawi. The organization’s efforts also include the co-publication of a field manual to anti-poaching, which is donation-supported and has support from the European Union (EU) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
Their website highlights ways that you can get involved in funding anti-poaching efforts in Africa using your own skills and also spread awareness of the poaching crisis. Registered as a non-profit in USA; donation by wire transfer is also available.
|ConservationDrones.org – Founded by Lian Pin Koh and Serge Wich, ConservationDrones.org seeks to assist in sharing knowledge of developing and deploying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for conservation groups worldwide with a focus on the conservation needs of developing countries. Donations are handled through this page on the MongaBay.org sister site. Registered as a non-profit in USA.||USA|
|Elephant Action League – Conducts multilingual global awareness campaigns and supports and sponsors projects in Africa related to anti-poaching and anti-trafficking. Elephant Action League is dedicated to fighting wildlife trafficking, forest crime, poaching, and provides training to field operatives and investigates individuals and organizations that take part in these crimes. They have an list of operational partners listed on their site. The League has also launched WildLeaks.org, a secure platform for anonymous informants and whistle-blowers to expose wildlife and forest crime as well as trafficking organizations and corrupt government officials. Registered as a non-profit in USA.||USA|
|Environmental Investigation Agency – This non-governmental organization provides a different kind of front-line work by sending undercover investigators to the heart of wildlife trafficking syndicates and areas where other environmental crimes are being committed. Invaluable evidence is gathered and reported through EIA’s publications for reading by the public and other NGOs. They also campaign to raise awareness and lobby for reforms in land and wildlife management while working with local groups, intelligence agencies, and NGOs to maximize the impact of the information that EIA gathers from the field. Registered as a non-profit in UK and USA.||UK USA|
|Free The Bears – Founded in 1995, the organization was created in response to bear bile farms cruelly, and in some cases illegally, restraining bears to pump bile from their gallbladder for use in traditional folk medicines. Initially organized to raise awareness for Asiatic bears, the fund expanded in the early 2000s and partnered with Wildlife SOS and other Asia-based organizations to rescue dancing bears in India. As they have grown their direct impact has expanded to assist in rescuing and providing care for bears which were illegally held in captivity. They also provide support to law enforcement cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade.
Those interested in getting hands-on caring for sun bears and moon bears may volunteer in Cambodia at FTB’s Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre or at Vietnam’s Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary. Registered as a non-profit in Australia.
|Freeland Foundation – Based in Southeast Asia, Freeland uses an array of methods to impact human trafficking as well as front-line wildlife and forestry crimes. They conduct undercover investigations into wildlife and forestry crimes, train police and customs officers, work with local communities to build a sustainable future, create environmental awareness programs, and support a host of international and non-governmental organizations. Freeland receives funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and partners with many well recognized organizations.
The foundation offers many ways to get involved including sponsoring an event or awareness program, organizing a fundraiser, getting an internship, and for well-qualified individuals an opportunity to volunteer in the field. Registered as a non-profit in USA.
|International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) – The IAPF operates accredited anti-poaching ranger training facilities in southern Africa and provides anti-poaching and conservation services for a wide array of wildlife, but most notably rhino. They are committed to its core objectives of education, research, leadership, and awareness of environmental issues and support a variety of conservation, education, and anti-poaching projects and groups across southern Africa. Through the Green Army program applicable volunteers can get hands-on experience working with experts and rangers on front-line conservation and anti-poaching projects. Registered as a charitable organization in Australia, UK, and USA. Tax-deductible in the UK and USA.||AUS UK USA|
|International Elephant Foundation (IEF) – Established in 1999 the organization has focused on supporting and operating elephant conservation and education programs that have benefit wildlife, ecologies, and scientific research. The IEF operates a variety of anti-poaching, conservation, management, and research programs throughout Africa and Asia. Registered as a non-profit in USA.||USA|
|International Rhino Foundation (IRF) – Founded in 1989 the IRF has a major commitment to the Critically Endangered rhino of Asia as well as a sizable commitment to rhino conservation efforts in Africa. Their broad scope of projects, including management, monitoring, research, and protection of wildlife is focused to maintain and even increase rhino populations in select areas. They also provide anti-poaching training and support. Registered as a non-profit in USA.||USA|
|Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre – Rehabilitates large and small animals and provides a home to injured animals that can’t be released back into the wild. Moholoholo, which means “The Very Great One,” provides education to tourists, programs for local students, as well as venues for weddings and makes an important impact on the wildlife throughout eastern South Africa. Registered as a non-profit in ZA.||ZA|
|Nakavango Conservation Programme – Located in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on a successful private game reserve, the Nakavango Conservation Programme provides volunteer programs, general survival courses, and customized training programs for eco-tourists and individuals of most experience levels. A highlight of the Programme is the conservation education it provides to schools in local communities on subjects of human-wildlife conflict, conservation of resources, and the importance of wildlife both as an inheritance for future generations and for tourism which generates significant revenue for the country. The Programme is the first project of the Eco Africa Experience, a division of Mantis Education. Registered as a non-profit in USA.||USA|
|Painted Dog Conservation – Since 2002 PDC has operated a rehabilitation facility and clinic in Zimbabwe to support the health and future of African painted dogs (also called painted wolves). They also monitor wild packs of painted dogs for their safety while also collecting behavioral and genetic information to better understand the species and develop management plan for ecosystems with painted dogs. PDC has their own anti-poaching unit working closely with the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority and Forestry Commission to provide direct-action against poaching and reduce human-wildlife conflict. A visitor center in Zimbabwe is open to the public. PDC is registered as a charity in Australia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States. Tax-deductible in the United Kingdom and United States.||UK USA|
|Save the Elephants – Founded in 1993 by Iain Douglas-Hamilton, author of two books on elephants as well as television films or documentaries. STE provides a number of crucial roles in the field through anti-poaching, human-wildlife conflict mediation and mitigation, local education initiatives, as well as funding of studies and research on elephants. STE may also provide opportunities for well-qualified individuals to participate in volunteer/internship positions in Kenya. Registered as a non-profit and donations are tax deductible in the UK, USA, and South Africa. Donations from the USA can be made through this link.||UK USA ZA|
|Save the Rhino International (SRI) – Registered as a charity in 1994, Save the Rhino International has several aspects to its conservation program that include anti-poaching, captive breeding, and environmental education and community conservation. During 2011 SRI’s expenditures focused primarily on conservation efforts of the critically endangered Black Rhino species, but it current has programs that assist in conserving rhino species across Africa, India, and Indonesia in addition to other wildlife in the same habitat. Read their latest impact report.
Registered as a charitable organization in UK for over 25 years and also registered in USA. SRI provides funding to partner organizations through select, directed donations. SRI is eligible for Amazon.com’s AmazonSmile program where a portion of each purchase you make on Amazon gets donated to a charitable organization of your choosing. Other ways to give and take part in wildlife conservation activism include participating in organized events as well as starting your own fundraiser for SRI.
|Sea Turtle Conservancy – Founded in 1956, STC has seen great success in preventing the Caribbean green turtle from becoming extinct and in improving populations of turtles throughout Central America, the Caribbean, and Florida. Advocacy and policy initiatives backed by scientific research in addition to direct habitat conservation have made STC an incredibly successful organization. Education and outreach programs have reached over half a million children worldwide and continues to teach the importance of protecting the regions’ habitats and beaches. Management and stewardship programs, as well as hands-on volunteering opportunities, allow people of all ages and skill-levels to get involved in sea turtle conservation. Registered as a tax-deductible charity in the United States.||USA|
|Snow Leopard Trust – Since being founded in 1981 the Snow Leopard Trust has supported research, community-based conservation, and funding long-term programs to preserve snow leopards and their habitat. The Trust currently operates in 5 Asian countries constituting roughly 75% of the snow leopard’s natural range and takes a community-oriented approach to preserving the traditions of local people and the habitat of local wildlife. SLT offers a limited number of volunteer opportunities to qualified individuals, students, and graduate students interested in field research. Individuals interested in alternate means of financial support can visit the website’s store for arts and crafts created by individuals in snow leopard habitats. Registered and headquartered as a non-profit in USA. CharityNavigator.org rates the Trust’s accountability and transparency at 100%.||USA|
|Thin Green Line Foundation – Founded by award-winning conservationist, documentary filmmaker, and Park Ranger Sean Willmore in 2004 the Foundation has been pro-actively involved in providing much needed supplies and training to rangers in conflict zones throughout the world. They also provide financial support to widows and orphans of rangers that have been killed in the line of duty. TGLF is the charity arm of International Rangers Federation, which has raised awareness and supported national and state rangers since 1992. TGLF holds tax deductible status in the UK and USA through their partner organization Born Free.||AUS UK USA|
|Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust – Located in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the Trust has a number of wildlife programs and research projects operating in the area that provides wildlife rescue, facilities and care for orphaned animals, conservation training, and volunteer/internship programs. Registered as a non-profit in USA.||USA|
|Wildlife ACT – A not-for-profit which provides university students, interns, and volunteers of all ages (18+) an opportunity to get hands-on with endangered and at-risk wildlife species projects in Botswana, Malawi, Seychelles islands, and South Africa. South Africa’s projects include conservation in Cape Town and seven projects located across Zululand, from the ancient sand forests of Tembe National Elephant Park to the beaches of iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the Indian Ocean. Also supports Panthera projects in South Africa where volunteers can assist in monitoring leopard populations.
Wildlife ACT and Wildlife FUND have several campaigns listed on GiveNGain that need financial support, giving individuals and businesses an opportunity to make program-focused donations that provide equipment and healthcare to specific wildlife.
|Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand – WFFT is based in Thailand and operates numerous projects relating to the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and long-term care at sanctuaries for an extensive array of mammals, birds, and some reptiles. A wildlife rescue center has also been opened in Laos, the first in the nation. They also have programs focused on consumer education and forest restoration and conservation. WFFT locally promotes ethical treatment of wildlife and campaigns against animal abuse and exploitation of all kinds. The organization offers opportunities to visit for the day or volunteer in multi-week increments at multiple locations. WFFT is registered as a non-profit in Thailand under the name Wildlife Friends Foundation.||Thai|
|Wildlife Protection Solutions – An innovative, publicly-funded non-profit organization bringing high-tech remote camera surveillance and rapid alerts to wildlife and plant conservation programs with a dozen projects across Hawaii, Southeast Asia, and southern Africa. Deploys and assists in monitoring cameras which can send infrared, thermal, or color photos back to the US-based HQ and to the project manager or other personnel via mobile device, allowing for near instantaneous alerts relating not only to potential threats such as property intrusions, but also changes in animal movements and seasonal changes for flora management. Volunteers who want to help WPS monitor high-risk locations via secure mobile app can inquire via this link. WPS is registered as a charity in the United States.||USA|
|Wildlife SOS India – Established in 1995, the organization has grown into a multi-faceted conservation group undertaking wildlife conservation as well as rehabilitation, anti-poaching, conservation awareness campaigns, and also seeks to uplift and improve the lives of the local residents of Kalandar. Wildlife SOS allows tourists to visit their bear rescue facility and elephant conservation center. They also welcome volunteers for longer visits at the rescue facilities assisting with day-to-day operations. Registered as a charity in both the United Kingdom and United States.||UK USA|
|Wildlife Vets International – With programs across Africa and Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia’s Sumatra, Mauritius, Russia, Seychelles, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe, WVI provides veterinary assistance to a wide variety of wildlife and support scientific research. They strive to conserve and protect the habitats of endangered wildlife and provide data and information on the health and management of endangered species, with particular focuses on painted dogs, Amur leopards, tigers, turtles, and birds of prey. WVI is a registered charity in the United Kingdom.||UK|
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