Endangered Species | WWF-Canada
	© WWF/Martin Harvey

Endangered Species

Not every species at risk is an “endangered animal.” Officially, threatened species are those listed as Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) or Vulnerable (VU).

Practically this means:
  • Critically Endangered (CR): A species facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Endangered (EN): A species considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Vulnerable (VU): A species considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

How much diversity of life is on this Earth?

According to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), humans know about an estimated 1,562,663 different life forms on this planet. This includes:
  • 5,416 mammals
  • 16,000 mushrooms or fungi
  • 29,300 fish
  • 950,000 insects
  • 287,655 plants

Many experts feel we have still to discover many, many more species - some estimates say we have yet to discover and describe millions of 'new' lifeforms.


Of the 1.5 million species, what needs saving?

The IUCN maintains the red list, which lists 22,413 endangered species.

See some of their photos.

WWF's flagship species

  • Bonobo
  • Chimpanzee
  • Dolphins (freshwater)
  • Dolphins (marine)
  • Elephants -African
  • Elephants - Asian
  • Giant panda
  • Gorillas
  • Leopard - Amur
  • Leopard - Clouded
  • Leopard - Snow
  • Marine turtles
  • Orangutan
  • Polar bear
  • Rhinos - African
  • Rhinos - Asian
  • Rock wallaby
  • Tiger
  • Tree kangaroo
  • Whales
To learn more about these flagship species and others, visit WWF International.