Conservation Influencers

Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund


The Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF) has been active since 2009. Its core mission is to protect tigers, elephants and Iriomote cats, a critically endangered subspecies of Asia’s leopard cat. Its programmes are financed by three separate funds which existed before JTEF did: one fund for each of the three species it exists to protect.

The work of JTEF is premised on three main considerations: preservation of habitats from human threats; education that encourages coexistence between people and wildlife; and awareness and policy recommendations designed to minimize harm to nature.

Outside of Japan, JTEF manages conservation activities that protect wild tigers and elephants in their natural habitats. Inside Japan, besides protecting Iriomote cats, JTEF plays a major role in supporting Western-based NGOs, not least the Environmental Investigation Agency, United States (EIA), in their effort to quash demand for wildlife products. 

For example, JTEF launched a petition on to pressurize Japan to close their domestic ivory market, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (now scheduled for July 2021). JTEF has also fully endorsed and become involved in campaigns orchestrated by US-based animal rights NGOs designed to force Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike to close ivory markets: see ‘Tokyo urged to resurrect ivory trade assessment’ and ‘One Year Out from 2020 Tokyo, NGOs Appeal to Tokyo Governor to End Ivory Trade’. And before CITES’ CoP-17, JTEF published a 192-page report titled ‘Why Should the Japanese Domestic Ivory Market Be Closed?’. 


Masayuki Sakamoto, Executive Director. Kumi Togawa, Chairperson


There’s a four-person-strong Board.



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.