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Our Story

The Civet Project Foundation began in 2019 as a website. This website was created by Jes Hooper, our founder, as she began her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Exeter in the UK. Her research project "Civets in Society" was a multispecies ethnography of human-civet relationships and her first interest was that of the civet coffee phenomenon and the trade in civets for gastronomic purposes throughout southeast Asia.

Civet coffee is coffee that is produced through the civet's digestive tract, and it is widely known as the most expensive and rare coffee in the world. Yet, civet exploitation is central to civet coffee's global success. At the time Jes' research began, civet coffee was no longer being collected from the scat of wild animals, now wild civets were being regularly captured for caged civet coffee production. Not only did civets find themselves the victim of trapping and snaring, but their bodies were then enrolled into forced labour as coffee producers and as display props for tourists to pose with. 


Concerned that her research might only be read by fellow academics, The Civet Project was a way to ensure the research findings made their way to a wider audience. Influenced by the "animal turn" in Anthropology (the increased recognition of animals as agents and actors within human-animal relations), Jes resonated with Lynda Birke's question: "what's in it for the animals?" Discovering the ways humans-civet relationships were often negatively impacting the civets involved, Jes wanted her research to reach the consumers and travellers whose purchasing power could, if properly informed, make a positive difference for civets- a group of ancient yet under-represented animals. 

Four years later, and supported by a team of conservation, animal welfare, tourism, and ethics experts, The Civet Project Foundation was registered as a charity. Together, we collectively raise awareness of the wonders of civets and the threats that they face. Together, we work towards a future of more positive, ethical, and symbiotic human-civet relationships.

Asian palm civet in the wild

Our Mission

The Civet Project Foundation's mission is to promote the conservation and welfare of species within the Viverridae family, a highly enigmatic yet ancient family of carnivores. 

What We Do

Our objectives are to enhance current knowledge of Viverrid species, and to promote their protection. To do so, we conduct innovative research, deliver educational outreach activities, and support in-situ and ex-situ organisations working towards Viverrid protection goals.  

The Covet Project Research


We conduct original research into civet species. We take a transdisciplinary approach to understand motivations and drivers towards actions that threaten civet protection.

The Civet Project Outreach


We bring civet education into schools, universities, zoos and charitable events. Through educational outreach we promote sustainable pro-conservation and pro-welfare behaviour.

Owston's civet image


Our work supports

in-situ and ex-situ civet conservation and welfare. Our partners are active participants in global conservation and animal welfare movements.

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