Fauna and Flora International

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Fauna & Flora International
Fauna and Flora International (logo).jpg
Formation1903 (1903)
Region served
Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central America, Caribbean, Eurasia
Andrew Sykes
Chief Executive
Mark Rose
Key people
Edward Buxton, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, David Attenborough
Main organ
Formerly called
Fauna and Flora Preservation Society, Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is an international conservation charity and non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting the planet's threatened wildlife and habitats. Founded in 1903, it is the world's oldest international conservation organisation. The logo of the society is the Arabian oryx, after the successful Operation Oryx, a flagship captive breeding and reintroduction project undertaken by the society.

Founded as the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire, the society created some of the first game reserves and captive breeding programmes during the 20th century. Having since gone through several name and approach changes, FFI today coordinates conservation programmes in around 40 countries, working through local partnerships and with more focus on capacity building, community-based approaches and marine conservation than its previous iterations. The society's peer-reviewed scientific journal, now known as Oryx, has been publishing conservation science articles since 1904.

Fauna & Flora International is constituted under English law as a company limited by guarantee[1] and is a registered charity with its head office in Cambridge.[2] FFI has sister organisations in the U.S. and Australia, and a subsidiary in Singapore. FFI currently runs conservation programs and activities in around 40 countries in collaboration with local partner organisations, institutions, communities and authorities.

FFI has a long history of royal patronage dating back to Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), who became the group's patron in 1928.[3] Queen Elizabeth II was FFI's patron for 68 years after her ascension to the throne[3][4] until this was delegated to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in October 2020 to align with his "longstanding work around conservation and support for communities protecting their natural environment for future generations."[5] Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands is FFI's current president.[6] FFI also has a number of high-profile vice-presidents, including David Attenborough, who has been involved with FFI since 1959,[7][4] Stephen Fry,[7][4] Charlotte Uhlenbroek,[7] and Lord Browne of Madingley.[7]


The Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire was founded as a private organization in 1903 as by a group made up of members of the British aristocracy and American statesmen in colonies in Africa.[8][9] A central founding figure was Edward Buxton, who had previously sought to protect areas of the UK.[10] The goal of the society was to safeguard the future of southern Africa's large mammal populations, which had declined due to over-hunting and habitat encroachment, within game reserves. From 1903 to 1914, the society lobbied the British colonial government to protect areas of natural resources, control the ivory trade and change the policy of exterminating wildlife to control tsetse flies.[10] The Society played a major part in legislation which controlled hunting and preserved habitat in East Africa and South Africa, paving the way for the formation of some of the first National Parks and influencing the future of nature conservation.[10][9][8] Modern scholars have characterised these early efforts as extensions of colonialism.[11][10][9][8] Kruger National Park in South Africa, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and several game reserves in Kenya, among others, were first established through the work of the Society.[8]

FFI's logo and the name of its academic journal refer to the Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), in reference to successful reintroduction campaigns led by the society.

The society also pioneered the practice of captive breeding and species reintroduction. In response to the extinction of the Arabian oryx, Operation Oryx in collaboration with Phoenix Zoo during the 1960s and with follow-up during subsequent decades successfully re-established wild populations in Oman, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.[12][13] The practice of captive breeding and release first pioneered during Operation Oryx are now widely used in conservation initiatives.

The society was renamed the Fauna Preservation Society before being renamed Fauna and Flora Preservation Society in 1981 and finally to Fauna and Flora International in 1995.

Modern activities[edit]

In addition to global headquarters in the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge, FFI coordinates conservation programmes in countries across the Caribbean, Central America, Africa, Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific.

The society's scientific journal – Oryx – The International Journal of Conservation[14] – is published on its behalf by Cambridge University Press.[15] Since 2008, FFI has also published the Cambodian Journal of Natural History,[16] the first peer-reviewed journal in Cambodia, in partnership with the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

FFI established the Mountain Gorilla Project in Rwanda in 1979 at the request of David Attenborough following the broadcast of Life on Earth.[17] It is now known as the International Gorilla Conservation Programme and is run jointly with the World Wide Fund for Nature.[18]

In Portugal, FFI works with Liga para a Proteção da Natureza on the reintroduction of the Iberian lynx.[19]

In 2004, FFI facilitated the purchase of a former colonial cattle ranch in Kenya and conversion into Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a wildlife sanctuary for black rhinoceros and other rare megafauna.[20] FFI also works to reduce human–elephant conflict through working with farmers.[21]

In 2000, an FFI-led expedition in the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia led to the rediscovery of the critically endangered Siamese crocodile in the wild, previously thought extinct. Since then, FFI established and continues to run a captive breeding and release program at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre that has increased the wild population.[22] In 2009, FFI, Cambodian authorities and Wildlife Alliance coordinated a crackdown on illegal sassafras oil production, a prerequisite for recreational drug MDMA, in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary in response to its role in deforestation and the harvesting of the critically endangered Cinnamomum parthenoxylon.[23][24] This operation is thought to have significantly disrupted the ecstasy market worldwide.[25] FFI also coordinates a master's degree in biodiversity conservation in partnership with the Royal University of Phnom Penh.[26][27] Cambodia designated its first marine protected area around Koh Rong in 2016 following several years of collaboration with FFI and other partners.[28]

In the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, FFI works to reduce poaching of bears and wolves by reducing conflict between farmers and wildlife.[29]

FFI began work in Myanmar in 2008. In 2010, a research team including FFI described the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey, a new species.[30][31] FFI also conducts sea turtle conservation.[32] In 2018, The Guardian published an article claiming that FFI was embroiled in a row with ethnic Karen people in Myanmar and indigenous rights groups over plans to protect up to 800,000 acres of pristine forest from poachers, loggers and palm oil companies. The initiative was seen as potentially displacing villages from ancestral lands without free, prior and informed consent, and having the potential to jeopardise a ceasefire agreement between the Myanmar government and the Karen National Union, which could lead to further conflict in the area.[33] FFI responded by asserting that indigenous people are "at the heart" of their work and that any protected area boundaries will not be decided without free, prior and informed consent.[34] In 2020, FFI were involved in the description of another new primate species, Trachypithecus popa, from Myanmar. There are thought to be around 200 individuals remaining in the wild.[35][36][37]

FFI was one of the organisations that successfully campaigned for the banning of microbeads in cosmetic products in the UK in 2019 over concerns that it contributes to marine plastic pollution.[38][39]

In 2020, FFI called on governments worldwide to adopt a moratorium on all deep sea mining, citing its impact on marine life[40] and launched a campaign calling for $500 billion per year to be invested to protecting wildlife.[41] Both campaigns were supported by David Attenborough and the latter was supported by over 130 other organisations.

Significant landmarks[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Registered Company Number 2677068
  2. ^ "Fauna and Flora International, registered charity no. 1011102". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  3. ^ a b Our Patron, Fauna and Flora International (accessed March 14, 2019).
  4. ^ a b c The Queen and David Attenborough urged to cut ties with charity linked to Finland mining plans, The Guardian (August 17, 2016).
  5. ^ Adam.Vallance (2020-10-19). "New wildlife conservation Patronages announced for The Duke of Cambridge". The Royal Family. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  6. ^ "People | Fauna & Flora International". www.fauna-flora.org. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  7. ^ a b c d Vaughan, Adam (2009-11-13). "Stephen Fry brings spit, wit and tweets to conservation group". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  8. ^ a b c d Cockerill, Kasmira; Hagerman, Shannon (2020-05-15). "Historical insights for understanding the emergence of community-based conservation in Kenya: international agendas, colonial legacies, and contested worldviews". Ecology and Society. 25 (2). doi:10.5751/ES-11409-250215. ISSN 1708-3087.
  9. ^ a b c Neumann, Roderick P. (2016-11-30). "Dukes, Earls, and Ersatz Edens: Aristocratic Nature Preservationists in Colonial Africa:". Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. doi:10.1068/d140079.
  10. ^ a b c d Prendergast, David K.; Adams, William M. (April 2003). "Colonial wildlife conservation and the origins of the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire (1903–1914)". Oryx. 37 (2): 251–260. doi:10.1017/S0030605303000425. ISSN 1365-3008.
  11. ^ Mkumbukwa, Abdallah R. (2008-12-01). "The evolution of wildlife conservation policies in Tanzania during the colonial and post-independence periods". Development Southern Africa. 25 (5): 589–600. doi:10.1080/03768350802447875. ISSN 0376-835X.
  12. ^ Fitter, Richard (July 1984). "Operation Oryx—the success continues". Oryx. 18 (3): 136–137. doi:10.1017/S0030605300018962. ISSN 1365-3008.
  13. ^ Grimwood, Ian R. (September 1967). "Operation Oryx: The Three Stages of Captive Breeding". Oryx. 9 (2): 110–118. doi:10.1017/S003060530000613X. ISSN 1365-3008.
  14. ^ "Oryx—The International Journal of Conservation". Oryx—The International Journal of Conservation. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  15. ^ ISSN 0030-6053
  16. ^ "Cambodian Journal of Natural History | Fauna & Flora International". www.fauna-flora.org. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  17. ^ a b "Attenborough at the double – Twin landmarks for FFI's greatest ambassador | Fauna & Flora International". www.fauna-flora.org. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  18. ^ "History | International Gorilla Conservation Project".
  19. ^ "Supporting the reintroduction of the Iberian lynx in Portugal | Fauna & Flora International". www.fauna-flora.org. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  20. ^ "Our story | Ol Pejeta Conservancy". www.olpejetaconservancy.org. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  21. ^ Sitati, N. W.; Walpole, M. J.; Leader‐Williams, N. (2005). "Factors affecting susceptibility of farms to crop raiding by African elephants: using a predictive model to mitigate conflict". Journal of Applied Ecology. 42 (6): 1175–1182. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2005.01091.x. ISSN 1365-2664.
  22. ^ "Record number of baby Siamese crocodiles found in Cambodian wild". Southeast Asia Globe. 2020-02-19. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  23. ^ "Cambodian 'ecstasy oil' factories destroyed by international environmental agency". the Guardian. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  24. ^ "Latest raid on 'Ecstasy Oil Factories' in Cambodia | Fauna & Flora International". www.fauna-flora.org. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  25. ^ Reed, Jim (2010-06-20). "Ecstasy 'disappearing' from British clubs". BBC Newsbeat. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  26. ^ Soute, Nicholas J. (Apr–Jun 2014). "Building a capacity for conservation: Fauna and Flora International's University capacity building project". AQ - Australian Quarterly. 85 (2): 9.
  27. ^ "Royal University of Phnom Penh | Fauna & Flora International". www.fauna-flora.org. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  28. ^ a b "Cambodia declares first-ever marine protected area". Mongabay Environmental News. 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  29. ^ "How Fauna & Flora International turned to a sheepdog to protect bears and wolves". Cambridge Independent. 2020-07-04. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  30. ^ a b "FFI discovers new species of snub-nosed monkey | News | Fauna & Flora International". web.archive.org. 2010-10-30. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  31. ^ Geissmann, Thomas; Lwin, Ngwe; Aung, Saw Soe; Aung, Thet Naing; Aung, Zin Myo; Hla, Tony Htin; Grindley, Mark; Momberg, Frank (2011). "A new species of snub-nosed monkey, genus Rhinopithecus Milne-Edwards, 1872 (Primates, Colobinae), from northern Kachin state, northeastern Myanmar". American Journal of Primatology. 73 (1): 96–107. doi:10.1002/ajp.20894. ISSN 1098-2345.
  32. ^ "Improving marine turtle conservation in Myanmar - ProQuest". search.proquest.com. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  33. ^ Carroll, Joshua (2018-11-02). "Displaced villagers in Myanmar at odds with UK charity over land conservation". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  34. ^ "'Ridge to reef' conservation in Tanintharyi | Fauna & Flora International". www.fauna-flora.org. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  35. ^ "Newly discovered primate 'already facing extinction'". BBC News. 2020-11-11. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  36. ^ Roos, Christian; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Miguez, Roberto Portela; Thant, Naw May Lay; Lwin, Ngwe; Lin, Aung Ko; Lin, Aung; Yi, Khin Mar; Soe, Paing; Hein, Zin Mar; Myint, Margaret Nyein Nyein (2020-11-18). "Mitogenomic phylogeny of the Asian colobine genus Trachypithecus with special focus on Trachypithecus phayrei (Blyth, 1847) and description of a new species". Zoological Research. 41 (6): 656–669. doi:10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.254. ISSN 2095-8137.
  37. ^ Presse, Agence France (2020-11-11). "Popa scoop: 100-year old monkey faeces reveals new species in Myanmar". the Guardian. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  38. ^ Khan, Shehab. "The UK has banned 'microbeads' in cosmetics — tiny pieces of plastic that pollute the ocean". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  39. ^ a b "World leading microbeads ban comes into force". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  40. ^ Karen McVeigh, David Attenborough calls for ban on 'devastating' deep sea mining, The Guardian (March 12, 2020).
  41. ^ Green, Matthew (2020-09-30). "David Attenborough leads call for world to invest $500 billion a year to protect nature". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-10-06.

External links[edit]