WWF focuses on conserving the world’s natural biodiversity by directly protecting wildlife and their habitats. We are also dedicated to containing humanity’s enormous and growing ecological footprint.
Flagship and footprint species
WWF focuses its wildlife conservation work on two types of wild plant and animal species:
• flagship species
• footprint-impacted species
Flagship species are iconic wild animals that provide a focus for raising awareness and stimulating action and funding for broader conservation efforts.
Footprint-impacted species are those wild animal and plant species primarily threatened by unsustainable practices, such as hunting, logging or fishing.
Habitat loss and degradation
The biggest threat to wildlife is from the habitat loss and degradation caused by humanity’s expanding footprint. The greatest single impact in sheer area comes from clearing forests and woodlands for agriculture, primarily for the creation of pastures for livestock.
Even apparently natural ecosystems are significantly degraded without being directly destroyed due to the diversion and pollution of water, and the disturbances that logging, grazing and fishing cause to natural food chains.
, as a result of our pollution, is also warming the planet and forcing wildlife to move in search of suitable habitat.
Invasive weeds and pests
represent another major threat world-wide to native wildlife and plants. They degrade natural habitats, or in the case of cats, foxes and rabbits in Australia, kill and out-compete native species. Climate change is expected to give invasive pests an added advantage.
Click here to read more about the effects of water pollution
and climate change on our wildlife and their habitats.