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Giant Panda eating bamboo shoot

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.

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.

Adélie penguins

Number remaining: around 5 million
Extinction risk: near threatened
Habitat: the Antarctic

Adélie penguins are one of the smallest and most widely found penguins in the Antarctic. You can tell them apart from other penguins by their simple black and white marking and the distinct white ring around their eyes. 
Discover more about Adélie penguins

African elephants

Number remaining: Around 470,000
Extinction risk: Vulnerable
Habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa

The African elephant is the world’s biggest land animal. There are two subspecies – the larger savannah elephant, which roams grassy plains and woodlands, and the smaller forest elephant, which lives in the forests of central Africa. 
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African lions

Number remaining: 30,000-35,000
Extinction risk: Vulnerable
Habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa

The magnificent lion is a symbol of Africa. Lions are currently found in much of sub-Saharan Africa, with key populations in protected areas in Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. 
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African rhinos

Number remaining: 25,000
Extinction risk: Near threatened - critically endangered
Habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa

There are two species of African rhino – the white and the black. Despite their names, both are the same dark grey-brown colour. Most African rhinos are found in just four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. 
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Amur leopards

Number remaining: As few as 70
Extinction risk: Critically endangered
Habitat: East of Russia and north-east China

With as few as 45 adults remaining in the wild – the Amur leopard is probably the rarest and most endangered big cat in the world. Habitat destruction, degradation and poaching of Amur leopards and their prey are persistent threats. 
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Asian elephants

Number remaining: 40,000-50,000
Extinction risk: Endangered
Habitat: tropical forests of Asia

There are three subspecies of Asian elephant – the Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan. Asian elephants used to roam across most of Asia, but now they’re restricted to just 15% of their original range. 
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Asian rhinos

Number remaining: 2,500
Extinction risk: Vulnerable - critically endangered
Habitat: Asia

There are three species of Asian rhino: the greater one horned rhino, the Javan rhino, the Sumatran rhino. Having once roamed across most of Asia, they’re now found in just five countries: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia. 
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Giant pandas

Number remaining: Around 1,864
Extinction risk: Endangered
Habitat: south-central China

This charismatic and universally-loved species was once spread throughout China, northern Vietnam and northern Burma. Now it is only found in the wild in just six isolated mountain ranges in Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan Provinces in south-central China. 
Discover more about the giant panda


Number remaining: Uncertain
Extinction risk: near threatened
Habitat: south and central America

Once found throughout south and central America, jaguars are now found mainly in the Amazon. They’re so elusive that we don’t know exactly how many are left in the wild. But we know that their numbers are declining.
Discover more about jaguars

Marine dolphins

Habitat: oceans around the world

There are nearly 40 different species of dolphin. These charismatic and intelligent mammals are found in most oceans around the world. 
Discover more about dolphins

Marine turtles

Extinction risk: Endangered - critically endangered
Habitat: open seas, coastal waters and coral reefs

Marine turtles have survived on Earth for more than 100 million years – which means they pre-date some dinosaurs. There are seven species – hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead, flatback, olive ridley, Kemp's ridley and green turtle. They’re mainly found in temperate and tropical waters. 
Discover more about marine turtles

Mountain gorillas

Number remaining: Around 880
Extinction risk: Critically endangered
Habitat: forests in central Africa

The powerful mountain gorilla is one of four surviving gorilla subspecies. They’re found in just two isolated populations – in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga volcanoes. 
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Number remaining: at least 60,600
Extinction risk: endangered - critically endangered
Habitat: Borneo and Sumatra

There are two species of orang-utan – the Bornean and the Sumatran. Orang-utans used to roam as far north as southern China, and as far south as the Indonesian island of Java. Today they’re only found on two islands – Sumatra and Borneo. 
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Polar bears

Number remaining: 22,000-31,000
Extinction risk: Vulnerable
Habitat: the Arctic

Polar bears are the biggest land-based carnivores in the world. Their Latin name, Ursus maritimus, means ‘sea bear’ – reflecting the fact that they are strong swimmers and spend most of their life around water. 
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River dolphins

Habitat: rivers around the world

Less famous than their marine cousins, eight different species of river dolphin are found in Asia and South and Central America. 
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Snow leopards

Number remaining: 4,000-6,500
Extinction risk: Endangered
Habitat: central Asia

The elegant snow leopard is one of the world’s most elusive cats. Sparsely distributed across 12 countries in central Asia, it’s usually found in high, rugged mountain landscapes at elevations of 3,000-4,500m. 
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Number remaining: As few as 3,200
Extinction risk: Endangered
Habitat: central Asia

The tiger is the biggest, the most iconic, and one of the most endangered of all cats. Three of the nine known tiger subspecies are extinct, and a fourth – the South China tiger – hasn’t been seen in the wild since the 1970s. 
Discover more about tigers 


Extinction risk: Near threatened to critically endangered
Habitat: oceans around the world

There are 13 species of great whale and several species of smaller whales. Some species are found all over the world, others are unique to particular areas. Despite decades of legal protection, six of the 13 great whale species are at risk of extinction. 
Discover more about whales

What animal are you most like?

Which animal are you?

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