Conservation Influencers

Elephant Family: protecting Asian wildlife and its habitat

London and New York

Elephant Family: protecting Asian wildlife and its habitat was founded by five conservationists in 2002, under the patronage of the Rajmata of Jaipur and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. The founding five were Mark Shand, Dugal Muller, Robin Russell, Caroline Casey and Nicholas Claxton. Elephant Family, which is registered in the USA and UK, operates as part of The British Asian Trust, a UK registered charity.

One of the big issues that Elephant Family confronts is human wildlife conflict. For example, its 2017 annual report details how in just one region in India since 2004, ‘elephants have trampled over 87,000 acres of ready-to-harvest crops and damaged more than 8,000 homes. It’s a fatal battle that has killed 685 elephants and 600 humans’. And it also reports about how in northern Borneo, Elephant Family stopped local people from building a bridge over Kinabatangan river. (see: page 22 for both examples). 

According to its website, Elephant Family, in partnership with The Perfect World Foundation based in Sweden, commissioned two independent investigations into the state of the live elephant trade between Myanmar and Thailand. This, it says, resulted in CITES calling for a review into various aspects of the illegal live trade of Asian elephants. See: ‘Recommendations to be undertaken by Asian elephant range states and other relevant parties: Document 57.1 of Resolution 10.10 on preventative measures against live trade in Asian elephants’. 


No staff listed.


The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are joint Royal Presidents. The British Asian Trust Board of Trustees is chaired by Manij Badale OBE. And Elephant Family has Boards in India, UK and USA too.


Elephant Family’s 2017 annual report has a large section devoted to its finances that lists its donors but which provides no details about its revenues, expenditure or about how much money was donated by whom.

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.


Wildlife Conservation Society

In 1906, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) put an African man on display in Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. In 1918, one of WCS’s founding fathers, Madison Grant, published Passing of the Great Race, which Adolf Hitler referred to as his ‘Bible’. Another leading creator and early leader of WCS, Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr, was also a founder of the American Eugenics Society. His son headed WCS from 1940 to 1968, overseeing a series of major initiatives in Africa. There, WCS became one of the architects of the prohibition movement, which put wildlife for consumptive use and vast regions of land out of bounds to humanity. In 2020, WCS distanced itself in public from the racist views of Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr. But it has yet to issue a critical account of the legacy of Fairfield Osborn Jr, even though he led WCS into the modern era while sharing similar politically-inspired ecological goals to his father and Grant. WCS devotes considerable financial resources to influencing outcomes at CITES. WCS’s CEO reportedly earns USD$1,320,978.