50 years of conservation



Our planet may be ailing, but our spirits are not. We are powerful, passionate and energetic. We have solutions and knowledge and we CAN turn the tide.

Yolan Friedmann

CEO, The Endangered Wildlife Trust

A word from the ceo

Yolan Friedmann

On behalf of the Endangered Wildlife Trust Board of Trustees may I welcome you all, on this chilly autumn evening, to this prestigious event, a celebration of 50 years of conservation in action.

Good evening Minister Creecy, Minister for Fisheries, Forests and the Environment. Welcome to David Freeman, First Secretary for Environment, Science, Technology, Health, and Minerals, U.S. Embassy Pretoria.

Good evening to the EWT founders that are here with us tonight Clive Walker and James Clarke and our previous CEOs Dr John Ledger and Prof Nick King, all the way from the United Kingdom.

To our Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the Board, Muhammad Seedat and

To all past Trustees who have played such a pivotal role in forming the EWT, some of whom have travelled many miles to be with us tonight.

Welcome to the many donors, associates, colleagues, friends, members of the media and our highly valued partners who are with us tonight.

And last but never ever least: welcome to the staff of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, past and present. Our greatest assets.

You are all welcome.

Read more


Clive Walker, Founder, the Endangered Wildlife Trust

In May of 1973, I was fortunate enough to be among the artists invited to the United States to attend a hunters’ convention held by Game Conservation International in San Antonio, Texas. As I read Ian Player’s White Rhino Saga high above the Atlantic Ocean aboard a Varig 707 while en route with Conita to this conference, little did I realise that for us, the meeting would prove such a significant point of convergence between art and  conservation. The trip was a milestone in my life and the launch pad for our next fifteen years of work: two events during that trip led directly to the founding of the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

The first was the inspiration arising from highly effective fundraising by the famous British painter David Shepherd using his painting Tiger Fire. Could we try something similar in South Africa? Second, on our way home via New York, Conita and I paid a visit to the Bronx Zoo. Riding the subway from Manhattan to the Bronx was an experience in itself. As we looked at the subway trains with their graffiti and desperate people and the dangerous jungle that civilisation has brought upon us, the African bush seemed so far away, so uncomplicated, so simple and natural. On the side of the tiger’s cage at the zoo we read that its breed was the world’s largest cat and that there were only 150 left in their native wild. The sign went on: “There are 300 known Rembrandt paintings in existence and the last sold in New York went for $1 million. How much do you think a Siberian Tiger is worth?”

I never forgot that. It ignited the flame out of which the Endangered Wildlife Trust was born.


Read more about Clive’s journey to conservation here.


I am proud to have been part of a team of scientists, researchers,
field workers, men and women, fundraisers, administrative staff and
Trustees who have made up the core of the Trust’s important role over
these past forty years. We are all part of a global family and our village is the environment.

Clive Walker

Founder, The Endangered Wildlife Trust

Celebrating 50 years of conservation

What started as one man’s dream has grown into an unconquerable force in the fight against extinction. Half a century after it was founded, the Endangered Wildlife Trust has achieved immeasurable gains for wildlife conservation. Each staff member, partner, and supporter who has been a part of our journey leaves a legacy of life exponential in impact and reach – each bringing about conservation impact and sowing seeds of inspiration and passion that grow and spread, cultivating conservation leaders, actors, influencers, and changemakers.

Conservation is about our natural heritage, our natural resources, our culture, and our livelihoods. It’s about food and water, and air. It’s about our hearts and souls, being grounded to our one Earth, being passionate and compassionate, and recognising the common good and being fair and just. That is the true essence of who we are as an organisation – we fight not only for species and their habitats but for the fundamental human right to an environment that is not harmful to one’s health and well-being. For us, conserving the planet, its natural assets, and all who live on it is a calling, a privilege, and a way of life, and we are proud to share it with you. The real power for change lies within each of us – in our everyday engagements with people who learn from us, teach us, and join us in our timeless campaign to protect forever, together.

Here is just a sample of the flashbacks of 50 years of conservation. Thank you for playing a critical role in achieving immense and lasting impacts for conservation, and we hope you will stay on board and help us do even more in the 50 years to come.

50th Flashbacks

On the edge of the ledge

On the edge of the ledge

My entry into the world of vultures was at the invitation by John for me to spend a Saturday morning...
Why the Cheetah?

Why the Cheetah?

The Red Cheetah Paw has boldly represented the Endangered Wildlife Trust for 50 years, and is synony...

The EWT’s history at a glance

Clive Walker's original Cheetah print used to raise funds for Cheetah research.


EWT founded by Clive Walker, Neville Anderson. and James Clarke


EWT’s first projects included Cheetah research by  Andrew Lowry. Brown Hyaena research by Gus Mills in the Kalahari, and vulture research.

The Endangered Wildlife Trust's Ladies Committee


Formation of the EWT’s Ladies Committee


The EWT funded and initiated the “Elephants and their Habitats Campaign”


Operation Rhino – eight Black Rhino from Hluhluwe were transported  to the Kruger National Park


The first edition of the EWT’s journal, Quagga, was released.


Peter Mundy was appointed as the EWT’s first Scientific Officer.


1st Rhino Workshop held in Pilanesberg

car with woman outside handing keys to man inside


The EWT translocated 43 Yellow-billed Oxpeckers from the Caprivi to Hluhluwe Game Reserve, where they had been extinct for 80 years.


John Ledger appointed as Director of the EWT

Blue Swallow


The EWT funded a national Blue Swallow survey, confirming its highly endangered status.