Member Spotlight: Jen Palmer

Jennifer Palmer

As a wildlife biologist, I have had the fortunate to witness the kind of raw beauty that simply takes your breath away. Throughout these vast experiences in wilderness, nature has proven to be my most powerful teacher. She has taught me to be kind, strong, empathetic, patient, compassionate, forgiving, and resilient—towards myself and towards those around me.

For 20 years, I have explored and researched in 40+ countries, working together with local communities on issues such human/wildlife conflict, endangered species, and climate change. What continually gives me hope in these dire times of need are the extraordinary women—absolute trail blazers for Mother Nature—who whole heartedly contribute to the protection and conservation of wildlife, working tirelessly to create a better world.

Scientists, photographers, indigenous leaders, artists, activists, students, filmmakers, tourism operators, business owners, musicians, dancers, adventurers and explorers — all hold a key role to the future of thousands of species on the planet. The women in these roles are changing the world with courage, determination, and a fierce belief that they can make a difference.

I launched Women for Wildlife as an international movement to support, empower and unite women and girls around the world who are passionately devoted to wildlife and conservation. Through expeditions, regional chapters, story telling, workshops and girls in science events, this initiative aims to build a strong, global community of women who work collectively on wildlife issues.

Our most recent endeavor was the Rise of the Matriarch—an all female expedition that traversed 11,000km (6800+miles) of rugged terrain and camping across 4 countries in Africa: Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.  In partnership with the Blue Sky Society Trust, the purpose of the 50-day journey was to raise awareness about the plight of wildlife and poaching across Africa. Our key goal was to support women conservation leaders, local communities and youth at a grassroots level. Needless to say, this expedition was one of the heart.

With kind contributions from hundreds of people all around the world, this expedition helped strengthen and unite women and girls in conservation, as well as helped us all better understand human-wildlife conflict and coexistence. Together we found creative ways to bring harmony to these ever-increasing conflicts that impact communities, elephants, rhinos, lions, pangolins, giraffes and so much more.

Rise of the Matriarch: What did we do in Africa?

  • Visit with over 15 conservation initiatives, anti-poaching groups, and wildlife protectors.

  • Support key projects paving the way to save and protect the last of these species.

  • Empower women and girls in conservation across Africa. 

  • Distribute 30,000 educational booklets to schools and communities.

  • Share and exchange ideas about how to minimize conflict so that people and animals can live in harmony.

  • Capture stories, images and videos to be used for awareness projects through video, documentaries, media and online platforms.

  • Raise and donate funds to benefit: