Conservation Successes in Canada | WWF-Canada
© WWF / ROGGO, Michel


As the global conservation organization, WWF works to conserve species at risk, protect threatened habitats and address global threats. Using the best available scientific knowledge, we work to preserve the diversity and abundance of life in Canada and around the world. We find long-term solutions that benefit both people and nature.

Gwaii Haanas

Over 3000 species inhabit this global ecological treasure in Canada's Pacific Ocean. WWF congratulates the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada for the landmark move to designate Gwaii Haanas as a National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. Learn more...

100 Million Hectares

© Hussein Alidina / WWF Canada

Jewel of Cuba declared National Park

Jardines de la Reina, one of the most outstanding jewels of the Caribbean islands has been officially declared as a National Park. A very popular area for diving and fly fishing, Jardines de la Reina is mostly untouched and boasts the largest and best preserved coral reef system of the entire insular Caribbean. It is home to crucial nesting sites for the critically endangered hawksbill turtle.

Often called the “Pearl of the Antilles,” Cuba is by far the most biologically rich and diverse island in the Caribbean. Since 1988, WWF has been supporting Cuban conservation and sustainable use projects, building on the trade, tourism, diplomatic and ecological connections linking Canada and Cuba.

The result has been numerous achievements, from Fidel Castro's signing of the Ramsar global wetlands treaty in 1999, to the 2008 ban on harvesting marine turtles, to the protection of Jardines de la Reina.

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Bowhead Whale Sanctuary to be Protected in Nunavut

An extensive area off the coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut, known as Niginganiq, has become Canada's newest proposed National Wildlife Area. This area contains critical habitat for threatened bowhead whales. The new protected area includes two deep offshore troughs that are rich in copepods, a main food source for the 18 metre-long, 70-tonne bowhead whale. It also includes a shallow shelf at the entrance to the bay that provides protection from predatory orca whales. Other species that call this area home, and will benefit from its protection include, polar bears, ringed seals, Arctic char, halibut, narwhal, Canada geese, snow geese and king eider. Read more.
© Paul Nicklen / National Geographic Stock / WWF

Canada's Seventh Marine Protected Area: The Bowie Seamount

After many years working with partners on conservation of Bowie Seamount as a Marine Protected Area (MPA), WWF-Canada celebrated the official designation of this MPA on April 17, 2008. This is an example of how collaboration between governments, First Nations, communities, resource users and environmental organizations can lead to significant conservation gains.

A network of MPAs on the Pacific Coast is a vital part of an integrated approach to caring for our oceans and building a sustainable future for our marine resources, and the communities that depend on them.

Seamounts are rich, marine treasures that are particularly vulnerable to over exploitation. Yet, seamounts are under represented in global sets of MPAs as most are outside territorial waters. Bowie Seamount, located 180 kms west of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) in the northeast Pacific, is one of the few seamounts in the world that is completely within a country's jurisdiction, giving Canada a unique opportunity to protect it.
© James CASEY

Largest Land Withdrawal for Protection Ever in Canada

Over 10 million hectares of pristine wilderness in the Mackenzie River Basin have been protected from industrial development. This withdrawal of land and water from industrial activity, announced by the Government of Canada, was made at the request of local First Nations. This interim protection, for a period of four to five years, will allow local people to plan areas for permanent protection around Great Slave Lake and along a northern stretch of the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Read more.

Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in the boreal forest, Slate Islands, Ontario, Canada.
© / WWF-Canada

Lake Superior Protected

A historic agreement has been signed by the Governments of Canada and Ontario to establish the largest freshwater reserve in the world, on the largest lake in the world – Lake Superior. This will be Canada’s first National Marine Conservation Area, protecting 1 million hectares of pristine islands, rugged coast, and crystal-clear water. This protection is excellent news for the species that inhabit this area, such as peregrine falcons, loons, woodland caribou, trout and pickerel. Read more.

© / WWF-Canada

Nahanni National Park, Northwest Territories

WWF-Canada has worked closely with Aboriginal communities, and other conservation organizations, to help secure the expansion of Nahanni National Park, NWT – one of the country's most rugged, beautiful and remote national parks. The federal government has announced that it will add 5,400 square kilometres of land to the Park - a world heritage site - barring it from further development. This expanded park is part of a series of areas that First Nations are calling on to be protected before any further development occurs in the Mackenzie River Basin.

© Tessa MACINTOSH / WWF-Canada

The White Pelican

The white pelican was taken off the endangered list with the help of our first corporate sponsor, Canada Life.
© Jacques Trotignon / WWF

Shipping lanes moved

Shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy were shifted away from endangered right whale feeding grounds, decreasing the risk of fatal collisions by 80 per cent. Never before were shipping lanes moved for conservation reasons.

© Canadian Whale Institute/Yan Guilbault / WWF-Canada

Cuba & The Greater Antilles

For two decades, WWF-Canada helped conserve the coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and other key habitats that support Cuba's exuberant diversity of life.

We went from pilot projects to full-scale, regional initiatives that are greening Cuban tourism, promoting sustainable fishing practices, and building a network of marine protected areas. Find out how Cuba has helped the Hawksbill turtle.
© Martin HARVEY / WWF

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

WWF-Canada helped launch the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1993. Since then, as champions of FSC, WWF-Canada has been helping to transform forestry in Canada. Today more than 28 million hectares of forests across the country have been certified to FSC's rigorous social and environmental standards, protecting wildlife habitat, supporting local communities, and guaranteeing that we will be able to harvest wood, generation after generation. Currently, Canada has more hectares certified by the FSC than any other country in the world!

Marine Protected Area

The first marine protected area in Atlantic Canada was established, encompassing a vast underwater canyon called the Gully, home to whales, coral reefs, dolphins and deep-sea squid.

Toxic Pesticide Ban

A federal ban was instated on the toxic pesticide carbofuran, putting a stop to the deaths of thousands of birds, including endangered burrowing owls.

Protection for Seabirds with Bill C-15

As a direct result of WWF's advocacy and lobbying, the Canadian government passed new legislation which deters ship owners from illegally dumping bilge oil, saving hundreds of thousands of seabirds each year.

Protecting Oceans and Freshwater

WWF was instrumental in the agreement between the federal and Ontario governments to create a national marine conservation area in the northwestern part of Lake Superior. When established, it will become one of the world's largest freshwater reserves.

Secured Funding to Protect Mackenzie Valley

WWF worked closely with Aboriginal communities in the Northwest Territories, to identify more than three million hectares of ecologically and culturally important areas for protection, and helped to secure $9 million in federal funding to protect the Mackenzie Valley.

Banning the Hunting and Trapping of Wolves

WWF pushed the Ontario government to permanently ban the hunting and trapping of wolves in and around Algonquin Provincial Park.

Endangered Spaces Protection

WWF completed the ten-year Endangered Spaces Campaign that saw the addition of 38 million hectares - an area bigger than the size of Germany - to Canada's parks and protected lands.