Jim Sanderson, Ph.D.

Program Manager of Wild Cat Conservation

Dr. Jim Sanderson received a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1976. He is the founder and director of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation, a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, a review board member of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and a fellow of Wildlife Conservation Network.

Jim’s mission is to ensure the survival of small wild cats and their natural habitats worldwide. This mission is achieved by working with local partners around the world to identify and mitigate threats to the world’s small wild cats. In 1996 Jim used radio-telemetry to better understand habitat fragmentation and landscape connectivity, and conservation issues of Guignas (Leopardus guigna) in Chile. Bolivian and Chilean colleagues and Jim captured and radio-collared the first Andean cat in May, 2004. He has also used camera phototraps to survey wildlife populations and monitor biodiversity in South America, Africa, China and Southeast Asia. Jim’s photograph of the Andean cat appeared in the February 2000 issue of National Geographic. With Chinese colleagues, Jim got the first pictures of the Chinese mountain cat in the wild. He has written four books and published more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles.


  • Ph.D., Mathematics, University of New Mexico
  • M.S., Mathematics, University of New Mexico
  • B.S., Mathematics, Lafayette College


Sanderson, J. and Pimm, S.L.. 2015. Patterns in Nature. University of Chicago Press.
Sanderson, J. and Watson, P.. 2011.  Small Wild cats: The animal Answer Guide. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Sanderson, J., Diamond, J.M., and Pimm, S.. 2009. Pairwise co-existence of Bismarck and Solomon landbird species. Evolutionary Ecology Research 11: 771-786.

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