Statement From Panthera on The Life and Legacy of Philanthropist and Tiger Conservation Champion Julian Robertson, Jr.

A tiger standing in tall grass
© Panthera

Media Contact: Susie Weller Sheppard,, 347-446-9904

New York, NY — The Board and staff of Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, mourn the loss of renowned philanthropist and conservationist Julian Robertson, Jr., whose support and dedication have been instrumental in bringing the endangered tiger back from the brink of extinction.

Panthera’s co-founder, Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan, stated: “My most heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to Julian’s family and those countless individuals whose lives he touched so profoundly. I have had the extraordinary privilege of knowing some of our generation’s most consequential figures in multiple spheres: business, politics, culture, academia, and, of course, wildlife conservation. Julian Robertson was not just a towering presence in so many of these fields — he was the rarest of breeds. A unique combination of refined elegance, trenchant intellectual power, and boyish charm, Julian Robertson strode across his various ecosystems much like the charismatic megafauna after which he named his iconic firm.

“His longstanding support for Panthera, and abiding love for and friendship with our co-founder, the late Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, enabled us to become, as he put it, the “Gold Standard” in the cat conservation space. Julian’s passion for giving back to those creatures whose majesty and nobility thrilled him was amply reinforced by our shared commitment to Panthera’s sister organization, Oxford University’s WildCRU — a joint-venture that empowered Professor David Macdonald to grow that institution into the leading university-based felid conservation center globally. Through these collaborations we scored numerous important wins for nature, for which we are all eternally grateful. Knowing Julian as a friend, and partnering with him in wild cat conservation, shall remain with me and all those he mentored and supported in their pursuit of excellence and achievement as one of the greatest honors of our lives.”

Panthera Chief Scientist and Tiger Program Director, Dr. John Goodrich, added: “While the conservation community worldwide has lost a great champion and friend, we take heart in knowing that Julian’s legacy will inspire a new generation of philanthropists and conservationists who will ensure tigers continue the strong and steady comeback that Julian helped to begin.”

Since 2011, The Robertson Foundation has been a cornerstone donor for Panthera’s Tigers Forever program, enabling it to become one of the world’s most effective tiger conservation programs by addressing the two major threats to tigers: poaching and habitat loss.

According to Dr. Goodrich, Robertson’s investments in tiger conservation played a crucial role in the global tiger population stabilizing or potentially increasing by some 40 percent, from 3,200 in 2015 to 4,500 in 2022, according to a historic assessment released by IUCN last month.

With Robertson’s support, the program now spans 10 sites across five countries, impacting roughly 8 percent of the world’s wild tigers. To decrease poaching, the program has trained over 600 rangers, support staff, problem analysts, prosecutors, and judges, and developed as well as deployed innovative technology such as PoacherCams, the world’s first camera to distinguish between people and animals and alert law enforcement of poacher presence in real-time.

Panthera’s Chairman, Jon Ayers, and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Frederic Launay, contributed: “Tigers held a revered place in Julian Robertson’s life. Not only did these most precious of nature’s assets serve as the namesake of his pioneering hedge fund firm, Tiger Management, and the multiple exceptional investors he mentored, known as Tiger Cubs, but indeed endangered wild cats also stood among the foremost beneficiaries of Julian’s generous and highly strategic philanthropy.

“Of significant importance to Julian and The Robertson Foundation has been that their efforts achieve a return on their investment. Just weeks ago, an assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a Panthera-led team confirmed that tiger populations across Asia are on the rebound. We cannot think of a more fitting and lasting testament to Julian’s unwavering altruism and visionary leadership than the remarkable ongoing recovery of the tiger.”

About Panthera

Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards, tigers and the 33 small cat species and their vast landscapes. In 39 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours. Visit