Protecting Species | WWF-Canada
© Michel Gunther / WWF

Protecting Species

Why do we need to protect species at risk?

What’s one less type of snail in the grand scheme of things? Losing an obscure mollusc — or lizard, or swallow, or groundhog — may seem like no big deal. But the truth is, all creatures on Earth are linked together in delicate and complex ways. Every species that disappears frays the web of life on this planet.

At WWF, we take a highly strategic approach to protecting species as risk. We focus on flagship species: the iconic animals like tigers and polar bears at the top of the food chain. When we protect what they need to thrive, we help protect the entire ecosystem. We also target footprint species: species like cod and corals that are threatened by unsustainable fishing, hunting or logging.

Ultimately, the success of all WWF programs is measured by nature’s health. Whether we’re slowing climate change, improving fishing practices or putting a stop to illegal wildlife trade, our goal is to ensure a healthy, diverse, resilient planet for generations to come.

What WWF is doing

Around the world, we rely on science to ensure our conservation efforts have the greatest possible impact. By identifying and analyzing what specific threats are driving a species toward extinction, we can craft targeted recovery strategies.

For example, because habitat loss is one the biggest threats facing tigers, WWF is working to safeguard the areas where tigers and their prey continue to flourish and connect those areas to one another with wildlife corridors.

Photo: Amur tiger resting in a zoo. © Chris Martin Bahr / WWF-Canon

Meanwhile, one of the biggest threats to Canadian sharks is bycatch. That’s why we’re working with fishermen to develop better ways of fishing. To protect ice-dependent species like narwhal and polar bears, we’re identifying key areas where the summer ice they need is most likely to persist and addressing causes of climate change that are transforming Arctic habitat.

We also draw on our field experience to advise the federal Minister of the Environment, who has invited WWF to participate in the Species At Risk Advisory Committee.


Visit the Marine Stewardship Council to learn how choosing more sustainably produced seafood supports healthy oceans.

Find out how researchers and local communities are tracking narwhals in Canada’s Arctic to better understand these mysterious creatures.

Learn more about what WWF is doing to conserve right whales, and sharks, and tigers (oh my!)  

“Adopt” a species at risk and help WWF advance important conservation efforts.