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"People would rather believe than know" Edward Wilson

Vulture at feeding time at Lion Sands

What We Do...

DSFF Purpose and Operations


The objective of DSFF is to conserve wildlife and wild places. Wildlife worldwide is under ever-increasing pressure stemming from a host of man-made problems.  Global ecosystems are stressed creating natural imbalances that impact all life on the planet. The collapse of any one species or group impacts every other part of their ecosystems.  At a world level, every extinction creates a cascade of effects that we are only beginning to understand. Saving wildlife and wild places is the key to saving humans.  The goal of DSFF is to ensure that today’s wild species are available for future generations.  To do so we will work to protect and preserve wild animals and wild places through the following types of interventions:


  • Protecting apex species from direct threats to their existence from illegal hunting stemming from poaching, bushmeat trade, and conflict with local communities. We choose to focus primarily on predator populations because they require more land and keep prey species in check which balances the ecosystems.  Removal of predators from ecosystems result in out-of-control prey populations and a shift in available space and plant life in an area.

  • Preserving wild places.  Humans are increasingly putting pressure on wild places.  Setting aside wild areas through conservation easements on private land as well as government protected parks and preservations provide areas where wildlife can heal and grow in a protected setting.  Land use sharing such as managed grazing in parks allows the variable needs of the community and wildlife to co-exist.

  • Supporting sustainable food production practices and agriculture efficiency to both help reduce pollutants and stop the expansion of agricultural land into wild lands.  The world’s current population is nearing 8 billion and will approach 10 billion by 2050.  Feeding that many people with the current agriculture footprint will require massive revolutions in the efficacy of farming.

  • Supporting scientific research aimed specifically at species management, protection, and occasionally re-introduction.

  • Educating and empowering communities to participate in the natural appreciation, conservation or re-introduction of wildlife.  Teaching children and adults about the value of wildlife to them and the planet.  

  • Developing economic incentives for communities to engage in conservation.  Helping farmers and ranchers to live in concert with predators and wildlife.

  • Integrating technology into conservation as a way of empowering current efforts and educating people.

  • Joining and forming coalitions to create more effective solutions and decrease duplicative efforts.


Practice Exclusions


Areas in which we prefer not to work (although exceptions might be made):


  • Ongoing operating expenses.  Our efforts will be focused on projects of capital efforts not on day-to-day operations.  An organization will have to be able to fund itself without depending on DSFF for its existence.  Likewise, we will change the way we operate with organizations so that our involvement does not become an annual expectation.

  • Direct rescue operations.  In the next few years we will phase out our work with rescue organizations and sanctuaries.  While we believe in the work that these organizations do, and the education they provide their communities, we feel that our efforts can be better focused on preserving wild populations and ecosystems.

  • General scientific study.  Studies based on learning about animals or systems for the purpose of general understanding will always be valuable, but we will only fund research geared towards developing real-life conservation efforts.

  • Political lobbying or policy development.  While this might be a part of a larger effort, we will not support organizations or projects that are fully devoted to policy or political endeavors.

  • Climate change and general environmentalism.  70% of the funding that used to go to wildlife conservations from large organizations such as WWF have now been diverted into the broader environmental movement.  While areas of our work are directly impacted by climate change and our efforts should help to alleviate aspects of pollution and climate change, we will not work directly to impact climate change.  We feel that the topic is too massive and complex for us to effectively combat.

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