Why do we need to conserve key ecosystems?
To do that, we need to identify key habitats: the breeding grounds, the areas where juveniles can shelter and grow, the richest feeding grounds, the annual migration routes. We need to understand when they’re used. And we need to understand how human activities affect them.
Based on all that information, we can make smart decisions about what areas need protection and what form that protection should take to ensure all species — including humans — have space to thrive.
What WWF is doingSmart planning lies at the heart of our work. It’s about managing human activities in a way that respects nature: deciding where and when different activities can take place and at what scale.
In the Beaufort Sea, for instance, we’re using science and traditional Inuit knowledge to determine the most valuable ecological and cultural areas. As industrial development expands in this area, the information we’re compiling will help decision-makers balance economic opportunity with long-term sustainability.
Photo: An offshore drilling platform, Beaufort Sea, Alaska, United States.© National Geographic Stock / James P. Blair / WWF
We’re also identifying areas across the Arctic where summer ice is most likely to endure: the Last Ice Areas (link to WWF International) that should be protected to give polar bears, walruses and other ice-dependent species the habitat they need in a warming world.
On the B.C. coast, we’re working with researchers and scientists to map marine noise pollution and to merge this data with information about prime cetacean habitat. With this knowledge, and through our work with governments and shipping companies, we can take steps to secure the quiet havens that whales and dolphins need.
Photo: Great Bear Region© Denise LAPRAIRIE
Take a virtual tour of the incredible and vibrant ecosystem of Canada’s Great Bear region—where river, sea and forest are inextricably linked.
Photo: Palm © WWF-Malaysia / Mazidi Abd Ghani
Find out about everyday ingredients, like palm oil (links to WWF International), that can pose a serious threat to important habitat if not sourced responsibly. Look and ask for sustainably certified palm oil products (links to WWF International). It’s easier than you think!
Photo: Southern white rhinoceros. © Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon
From the Amazon to the Arctic, check out the priority places (links to WWF International) around the globe where WWF works.