Our Story

Established in 1984, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) was set up to help turn the tide on species extinction. Born from a passionate belief that we must conserve the natural world, our mission is to fight, protect and engage on behalf of threatened and endangered wildlife across Africa and Asia. 

DSWF was conceptualised at the kitchen table in David Shepherd’s home in Surrey, England, due to the crippling frustration he felt at man’s abuse of the natural world. He converted his passion into action and, decades later, DSWF still operates in many of the same countries, with the same teams, from when David first established the Foundation.

David Shepherd, was brave with his ambitions, bold in his ideas and outspoken in his beliefs and ethos which is echoed throughout the Foundation’s activities today.

DSWF believes in the long-term support of grass root conservation initiatives, operating on the front line in the war against wildlife crime. The unwavering support to conservation strategies across Africa and Asia have seen wildlife populations stabilise and recover from the brink of extinction. We have also stood firm in our steadfast belief that the consumptive use and exploitation of wildlife is unacceptable and only through a combined approach of social action, policy, advocacy and education, can we change our relationship with nature and wildlife.

We are proud to remain true to our roots and the legacy of David Shepherd. We also recognise, however, the changing world in which we live and the need to react differently to new challenges, the flexibility of support we as an organisation can provide to our partners and the ever-evolving connectivity of people and technology and the opportunities which this brings. 

DSWF remains committed and proud to fight wildlife crime, protect endangered species in their natural habitat and engage communities around the world in regard to the importance of protecting some of the most iconic species and pristine wildlife landscapes for future generations. 

  • david shepherd in his workshop

    Our Founder

    Find out more about our Founder, artist and conservationist David Shepherd – his life and work.

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  • David shepherd in africa

    Shepherd Family

    Meet the members of the Shepherd family who are continuing David’s legacy and the vital roles they play today.

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  • emily lamb's painting of a cheetah

    Wildlife Art

    Wildlife art is an essential part of DSWF’s legacy. We use art to create awareness and raise vital funds for wildlife.

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  • pangolin adoption

    Our Trustees

    Our Board of Trustees play a vital role in the running of DSWF, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise.

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