WildFutures is dedicated to advancing the protection of large carnivores, with special emphasis on mountain lions. We work with scientists and wildlife agencies to understand and convey the important role that top predators play in the landscape. Through the power of education, media, and the best available science, we collaborate with other organizations to find cost-effective ways to conserve carnivores and address negative perceptions of them.
Founded in 1994, WildFutures is a project of Earth Island Institute. We bridge the gap between science and conservation. We believe developing a greater understanding and appreciation of mountain lions will not only advance the protection of these animals but also promote safe co-existence between people and wildlife.
Because of the complexity of issues facing wildlife, WildFutures also offers capacity building programs to environmental and conservation groups, to help build strong leaders and thriving organizations. By providing essential tools, trainings, and resources for many groups, we have a ripple effect reaching far beyond our immediate projects.
WildFutures is dedicated to advancing the protection of wildlife, with special emphasis on mountain lions. WildFutures also creates partnerships, strengthens the capacity of environmental leaders, and helps facilitate relationships with funders and organizations to help slow the extinction crises..
Given the dire projections in the 2019 UN Report which estimates that over the next few decades one million plant and animal species are in danger of extinction, we believe it’s a moral imperative that we more directly address the extinction urgency. With less than 3% of philanthropic funding going to animals and the environment, we have expanded our efforts to partner with funders, thought leaders, policy makers, organizations, and scientists to help accelerate our collective understanding of the growing crisis, and help to move additional resources to mitigate the erosion of critical ecosystems on which animals, plants, and all life depends.
We also work with organizations, scientists and wildlife agencies to understand and convey the important role of top carnivores in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Through the power of education, media, and the best available science, we collaborate with others to find cost-effective ways to conserve and protect carnivores and to safely coexist with them.
To address the many stresses frontline activists face, WildFutures continues to provide tools, training, coaching, and resources to help build strong leaders and thriving organizations so they can continue to work to save the animals, and the planet they love.
We seek to protect and support resilience for humans and wildlife and to slow the climate crises.
HOW WE DO IT
Sharon has dedicated her life to advancing the protection, conservation and management of mountain lions and ensuring that they flourish in our natural world.
She has worked with government and nongovernment organizations on natural resource issues since 1980. Sharon co-founded the Mountain Lion Foundation in 1986 and served as its director until 1990, after working with others to pass a California ballot initiative that banned trophy hunting of mountain lions and allocated $30 million a year for 30 years to critical wildlife habitat.
As founder and director of WildFutures since 1994, Sharon has produced high profile books and films. She also co-founded the Wild Felid Research and Management Association in 2005 and served the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project (now called Western Wildlife Outreach) as co-director in 2009–2011 and project advisor in 2012.
Among her published works are Cougar Management Guidelines (2005); Cougar Ecology and Conservation (2009), with renowned cougar biologist Maurice Hornocker; and numerous reports and papers for foundations, agencies, and conservation organizations. She produced the films The Secret Life of Mountain Lions (2016) and La vida secreta de los pumas (2017), and she co-produced the award-winning film On Nature’s Terms (2001) and a television public service announcement on cougar and bear awareness and safety.
Some of Sharon's early work was as legislative director for the State Coastal Conservancy, as executive director of the Planning Conservation League, and with the Lung Association of California.
In her role as director of WildFutures, she continues to provide consultation to a wide array of regional, state, national, and international wildlife organizations as well as conducting capacity building programs for Earth Island Institute's 74 environmental organizations. Sharon also provides personal and professional coaching to environmental leaders. She has a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning from the University of California, Davis.
Sandra received her veterinary degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry (FMVZ) in Mexico City in 2006. She undertook a one-year internship in zoo animal medicine and husbandry at national zoos and worked in clinics and private hospitals intermittently. In 2008 she did a research internship with EcoHealth Alliance (formerly Wildlife Trust) and worked as field scientist and communications manager of the San Francisco based non-profit Rainforest2Reef and Amigos de Calakmul in Mexico.
From 2008 - to present she has worked as a field veterinarian for the “Jaguar and Puma Conservation Project, Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (CBR) out of the institute of Ecology at UNAM as well as other jaguar research projects in the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico.
She completed her Master of Animal Health Science at UNAM and her research project was focused on determining the prevalence of exposure to canine distemper virus in jaguars, pumas, and domestic dogs in the vicinity of the CBR.
Sandra has presented lectures and conducted workshops on disease ecology, conflict with carnivores and domestic animals and anesthesia and chemical immobilization of captive and free-ranging wildlife and has served as advisor of rehabilitation and release projects involving carnivores in Mexico.
Since 2014 she has served as Council member and representative of Mexico for the Wild Felid Research and Management Association (WFA) and is currently Vice President, Latin America. She is a founding member of the National Alliance for Jaguar Conservation in Mexico (Alianza Nacional para la Conservación del Jaguar, ANCJ) and currently works as sales manager and product advisor at Wildlife Pharmaceuticals México.
Alexa Boesel has dedicated her career to wild and domestic animal advocacy. Starting from a young age, Alexa has taken sick or young animals into her home to rehabilitate and release into the wild or find suitable homes. While at Wesleyan University, she received BAs in Biology and Neuroscience and participated in environmental think tanks, coauthoring and presenting pieces on wildlife coexistence. After graduating, Alexa spent a year working with wildlife hospitals and zoos and even temporarily running an exotic animal sanctuary in Hawaii. Having worked with a great diversity of species, and recognizing the current loss of habitat, Alexa is a strong proponent of wildlife coexistence, especially predator species such as mountain lions. Alexa still works as an emergency room technician in Berkeley, helping to advocate and care for all animals on a daily basis
It's rare to find a nonprofit organization with a 25-year history of programing that makes a real impact year in and year out. Mountain lions and the people who care are about their survival have a true champion in Sharon Negri, founder and director.