The Small Cat Action Fund

The Small Cat Action Fund (SCAF) is a grants program established by Panthera and is intended to support in situ conservation and research activities on the many small cat species.

Species and Location

The SCAF supports work on the “small cats,” namely all species of the family Felidae excluding the genera Panthera, Acinonyx and the puma (Puma concolor). However, for 2024, species classified as Threatened (including Critically Endangered, Endangered) and Near Threatened by the IUCN will be prioritized. Priority species include:

  • Bay cat - Catopuma badia
  • Asian golden cat - Catopuma temminckii
  • Sunda clouded leopard - Neofelis diardi
  • Mainland clouded leopard - Neofelis nebulosa
  • Marbled cat - Pardofelis marmorata
  • Flat-headed cat - Prionailurus planiceps
  • Rusty-spotted cat - Prionailurus rubiginosus
  • Fishing cat - Prionailurus viverrinus
  • Chinese Mountain Cat – Felis bieti
  • Iberian lynx - Lynx pardinus
  • African golden cat - Caracal aurata
  • Black-footed cat - Felis nigripes
Central and South America
  • Oncilla - Leopardus tigrinus
  • Southern tigrina - Leopardus guttulus
  • Margay - Leopardus wiedii
  • Pampas cat - Leopardus colocola
  • Guiña - Leopardus guigna
  • Andean mountain cat - Leopardus jacobita

Budget Guidelines

The amount of funding awarded varies, up to a maximum of $15,000 per year. Preference will be given to requests specifically for field conservation and research activities, including equipment, transportation, and local salaries. Panthera will consider salaries, per diems, and stipends for local field personnel only; we will not fund salaries for core administrative and management personnel. Panthera will not consider large requests for expensive first world university tuition, except in exceptional cases where the applicants are nationals from developing countries and provide convincing rationales that the institutions will provide critical graduate training that is not available in their home country. Panthera does not support conferences, travel to scientific meetings, legal actions, overhead costs, or academic exchanges.

Evaluation Criteria

Letters of Inquiry and applications are reviewed by Panthera Regional and Species Experts. Projects are evaluated in terms of the:

  • Relevance to wild cat conservation
  • Scientific merit and value

How to Apply

The application process opens with a call for Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) between 15 February and 15 March. The application portal is only open between these dates. The LOI asks for the title and location of the proposed project, the target species, the project budget and the amount requested from Panthera, and an abstract of the project. Qualified applicants who submit LOIs for projects that appear to be a good fit for the program will be asked to submit a full application and supporting documents. Both LOIs and applications must be submitted through Panthera’s grant management system, Foundant. Applicants are only permitted to apply to one Panthera grant program per intake round. If you are seeking renewal for a previous grant, please contact us directly at

Apply (Opens Feb. 15)