Photo Credit: Eric Bedin / EWCP

About Us


IUCN Save Our Species supports science-based conservation action that saves animals and plants from extinction.

Ensure the long-term survival of threatened species and their habitats

Informed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ and in collaboration with thousands of IUCN experts and scientists worldwide, we focus our efforts where they will have the biggest impact. We prioritise the species most in need: those assessed as Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered.

By working with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), IUCN Save Our Species is able to develop and select projects in line with globally agreed conservation strategies. The SSC is the world’s largest network of species experts and a fundamental contributor to IUCN's role as provider of the knowledge that guides nature conservation.

Members include:

  • Researchers
  • Government officials
  • Wildlife veterinarians
  • Zoo and botanical institute employees
  • Marine biologists
  • Protected Area managers
  • Experts on plants, birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.

Work hand in hand with local communities who depend on species or coexist with them

We never look at species in isolation. We know that to save threatened species with sustainable, long-term results, we need to tackle key threats that are driving the decline of their populations. These include the lack of incentives for landowners and managers to retain natural habitats, illegal wildlife trade, abusive practices in agriculture, fisheries, and forestry, the disruption of water flow, inadequate management of waste, and increasingly, human-wildlife conflict and invasive alien species.

Local communities do not always understand why and how they should protect wildlife as many rely on wildlife and their shared habitat to generate income. It is thus essential for any project to understand the local economy. By supporting the development of alternative livelihoods, we engage local communities in supporting the conservation work.

This is why all of our conservation projects have a three-legged approach:




We monitor populations and create conditions for species to increase and recolonise.

We build capacity for better protected area and habitat management.

We work with local communities to reduce unsustainable dependency on natural resources through provision of alternatives.

Think global, act local

IUCN Save Our Species works from its base in IUCN Headquarters in Switzerland and is implemented through IUCN Regional and country offices.

We fund frontline conservation organisations across the world who have unique knowledge of their region and the local biodiversity. Our founder used to say:

Wildlife conservation is complex, involving thousands of Civil Society Organisations without whom forest patches or populations of unique species would disappear forever. These people are modern-day heroes. Very often a small grant helps them make a big difference. IUCN Save Our Species supports those people. Those who sometimes risk their lives fighting against illegal wildlife trade or opposing projects that destroy our natural heritage.”

IUCN Save Our Species contributes to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals on biodiversity such as Life on Earth (SDG 15) and Life under Water (SDG 14), as well as many of the CBD Aichi Targets. To date it has funded 160 projects, protecting almost 500 threatened species and supporting 110 Civil Society Organisations operating in 75 countries worldwide.

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