With nearly a quarter of all mammal species and a third of amphibians threatened with extinction, there’s an urgent need to safeguard wildlife and the places in which they live.
The growing and unsustainable demand by people for natural resources is at the heart of the problem. The demands made by human activities – such as agriculture, forestry, energy production, road building and poaching – are all having a serious impact.
The growing danger from climate change could also result in devastating consequences for our natural environment in the coming years.
With limited resources and limited time to make the required impact, WWF has had to focus its efforts on species considered to be of special ecological, economic and cultural importance. We work to stabilise or increase their numbers through practical conservation programmes and by challenging the trade in endangered wildlife.
WWF also works with business, government and local communities to create sustainable solutions that take account of the needs of both people as well as nature. Only by doing this will we ensure good governance of our natural resources.
Why protect rare and endangered species?
Protecting the world's species and their habitats lies at the heart of WWF's mission to conserve the earth's biodiversity and was the prime reason for the organisation's establishment in 1961.
While important in their own right, species are also critical for maintaining the fundamental balance of ecosystems.
As charismatic icons, species also provide unique opportunities for promoting and communicating critically important conservation and environmental issues.