“SCI Foundation embraces the conservation ethic of hunters and promotes hunter stewardship of wildlife resources.”   

SCI Foundation’s Conservation team funds and directs worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation.  Each program region – North America, Africa, and Asia – have specific areas of focus, from predator-prey interaction to wildlife genetics and anti-poaching to applied management.  We work closely with SCI Chapters and members to advance hundreds of local, regional, and global wildlife conservation projects each year. Chapters around the world are involved in projects to promote the conservation of wildlife.

SCI Foundation has funded over 80 wildlife conservation projects in more than 27 countries.

Learn more about SCI Foundation Conservation Programs and their impact by clicking the button below.

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Michigan Natural Resource Commission Commends SCI Foundation on White-tailed Deer Research

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission adopted a resolution on February 11, 2016, commending years of research supported by SCI Foundation showing that white-tailed deer survival in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) region is dependent on suitable wintering habitat. As a result of these findings, the state is now moving to improve the UP’s winter deer habitat to increase deer survival.

In 2014, Michigan created the Upper Peninsula Habitat Work Group (UPHWG), a collection of wildlife experts, natural resource professionals, private landowners and sportsmen to apply SCI Foundation’s research findings to habitat management. Drawing upon nearly a decade of research, the UPHWG is now tasked with updating forest management plans to ensure high quality winter habitat conditions are available to deer.

Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission stated, “the group was charged with developing recommendations to address fundamental habitat enhancement opportunities.” The UPHWG has already mapped, and is developing management recommendations for more than 50 deer wintering complexes.

Harsh winters can have serious impacts on deer populations. Heavy snowfall forces deer to migrate to wintering complexes, or yards, under dense canopy of conifer trees. When winter habitat is inadequate, deer are weakened and more susceptible to predation. Michigan’s UP hosts a complex ecosystem composed of multiple predator species including wolf, black bear, coyote, and bobcat.

“The Michigan Predator-Prey Research Project has been one of SCI Foundation’s flagship North American conservation initiatives since 2008,” said Joseph Hosmer, President of SCI Foundation. Wildlife biologists have been capturing and monitoring fawns, does, and predators to study the area’s predator-prey dynamics. Research concluded that quality and availability of wintering habitat was the limiting factor.

“Now in the project’s ninth year, we are able to apply what we’ve learned from research to on the ground management,” says Hosmer. “We are pleased that our research has led to the formation of the Upper Peninsula Habitat Work Group and improving deer habitat in Michigan. This is what SCI Foundation strives to do, and we hope this successful collaboration can be a model for other states.”

“Winter habitat quality is the most important factor influencing deer population trends,” said Gary Willis, a UP DNR service forester. Willis added, “improving winter habitat is an action in which all landowners can make a contribution.” The UPHGW and Michigan’s DNR are reaching out to private landowners interested in improving deer habitat and introducing a cost-share program for maintaining deer yards.

SCI Foundation’s goal is to direct wildlife research that leads to successful management recommendations. Results from this collaborative project in Michigan are applicable to similar states, and will ensure that proper scientific management is implemented for white-tailed deer and predator populations.

The project is a partnership between SCI Foundation, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources, Wildlife Restoration, SCI Michigan Involvement Committee, and local SCI Chapters.

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Program Highlights

North America:

The Newfoundland Caribou Project released its final report, culminating in decades of research on the island’s woodland caribou population and predator dynamics that has produced over 50 scientific publications. Results will be incorporated in future management plans.

Reintroduction of Desert Bighorn Sheep to the Santa Catalina Mountains, near Tuscon AZ, was successful. The new herd, of now 60 sheep, has been fitted with radio collars to be tracked for management and research.


The Tanzania Lion Project, in collaboration with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and the University of Mississippi Carnivore Ecology Laboratory, is producing innovative results on improved study design, more effective survey techniques and variables in lion abundance modeling in the Serengeti National Park. This research will be used to further assess the status of African lions in other range states with the most accurate data available.

The 14th African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF), hosted by South Africa in November 2015, had the highest attendance on record. Delegates from 11 African nations, USFWS, CITES Secretariat, Professional Hunting Associations, NGOs, and wildlife scientists all participated. Topics included land-use planning, anti-poaching and the importance of hunting to conservation across Africa.

A comprehensive report on the economic benefit of trophy hunting to conservation and communities in Africa is expecting completion in the spring of 2016. Results are showing that hunting generates necessary revenue for conservation, contributes to national economies and local communities, and creates employment opportunities in rural areas.


SCI Foundation is currently formulating a response to the USFWS African lion final rule. Under the new rule, lions are divided into two subspecies, with Panthera leo leo in India and West and Central Africa listed as endangered and Panthera leo melanochaita in East and Southern Africa listed as threatened. The USFWS will also require an enhancement finding for importation of lion trophies. SCI Foundation is working to protect the conservation benefit of hunting to lions.

Conservation staff attended the CITES Animal Committee in September and will be attending the Standing Committee in January.

SCI Foundation submitted comments to USFWS on proposed CITES approaches, including recommendations not to propose an Appendix I uplisting for African lion or polar bear, and to maintain the current listings for African elephant and black and white rhinos.

Comments were also submitted to USFWS in response to its 5-year status review of polar bears, and SCI Foundation recommends that an ESA listing is inappropriate based on the best available science. The status of polar bears has actually improved with more stable or increasing subpopulations.

SCI Foundation Conservation staff will be presenting in January at the European Union Parliament’s Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside Intergroup Meeting to emphasize the conservation benefits of sustainable use hunting to policy makers in the EU as the EU develops its strategic objectives in preparation for CITES CoP17 in September, 2016. The EU is the largest voting bloc of CITES and a number of European countries have enacted or are considering regulations that restrict importation of hunting trophies.

In the face of unprecedented challenges in 2015, SCI Foundation continues to defend the conservation benefits of sustainable use by conducting scientific-based wildlife research projects worldwide. SCI Foundation’s Conservation Department has more expertise than ever before. We look forward to funding another year of successful projects and reporting on more achievements in 2016.

Conservation Projects

North America





SCIF’s Primary Mission: Promoting Wildlife Conservation Worldwide

As a passionate conservationist who believes in ecosystem management and the principles of sustainable use, you may understand as clearly as I do that hunting is not just our heritage. It is not just a pathway to connect with the land and the natural resources surrounding us. And hunting is not just a sport or recreation … it is part of our identity. In today‘s world, at a time when wildlife are competing for resources with an ever-increasing global population of humans, the success and failure of some wildlife populations are reliant on human action. It is within this world that humans have learned to conserve wildlife, and with politics aside, that hunting is the most simplistic, practical, and cost-effective management tool for wildlife conservation.

We hunter-conservationists understand the role that humans play in disrupting the harmony of the natural world. The consequences of having overabundant white-tailed deer in local temperate forests in the United States parallel the problems that lead to tragic lion attacks on villagers and livestock in the grasslands of Botswana. We strive to preserve game and non-game species and wet and dry habitats as part of our responsibility to the land that we have come from, in concert with conditions accepted on a local and global scale.

As members of a worldwide conservation organization, we are more than passive observers of the natural world. We gain an intimate awareness and appreciation of the natural settings as we hunt. We also work very hard to help preserve the worldwide hunting heritage, which plays such an important role to the use of science and knowledge toward effective conservation efforts and wise practices of sustainable use of our wildlife resources.

The goal of the following chapter is to highlight the variety of conservation projects performed by SCI and the SCI Foundation, including our global network of nearly 200 SCI chapters and more than 45,000 members. Collectively, we are giving power and financial support to local game officials and governments as well as financing education, conservation and humanitarian efforts worldwide. Together we have helped reestablish wood bison in Alaska, provided water guzzlers for desert bighorn sheep in California, and underwritten population studies of black bear and moose in Maine, among thousands of other projects. From building houses for bluebirds in New York State to saving jaguars in the Yucatán, Safari Club International has shown that no creature is too small or too remote for our attention. We applaud the accomplishments of our fellow conservationists and project partners, as collaboration only enhances results.

In closing, I quote the West African environmentalist, Baba Dioum of Senegal, who said, ―In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.‖ Teaching is critical to SCI‘s conservation mission, and the world looks to us to show the way to effective worldwide conservation. I hope that these examples of our accomplishments illustrate how hunters are, at their core, conservationists, who possess a legacy that we must pass on to those who follow. I am proud to be everything a hunter is and does.

Joe Hosmer, SCI Foundation President









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Safari Club International Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non profit organization that funds and directs worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation and outdoor education.  All donations to SCI Foundation are tax-deductible.