WWF’s global flagship species | wwf

WWF’s global flagship species

Head portrait of Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) Captive-Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, within ... rel=
Head portrait of Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) Captive-Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, within Way Kambas National Park, Lampung Province, southern Sumatra, Indonesia
© Naturepl.com / Mark Carwardine / WWF
As part of our important work to protect global biodiversity, WWF is focusing its conservation efforts on threatened and endangered species whose survival cannot be ensured by preserving habitat alone.

Iconic and threatened animals and plants

A number of priority plant and animal species have been identified that are especially important to the health of the planet, either for their place in the ecosystem...
  • Species forming a key part of the food chain
  • Species essential to helping stabilise or regenerate habitats
  • Species demonstrating broader conservation needs

...or for human survival

  • Species vital to the health and livelihoods of local communities
  • Species with high commercial value
  • Species that are deemed important cultural icons.

Within these select species there are two groups:

1. Flagship Species - iconic animals that provide a focus for raising awareness and action to fund broader conservation efforts.

2. Footprint-Impacted Species – those under threat primarily due to unsustainable hunting, logging, fishing and other human activities.

By protecting these high-profile plant and animal species, we can also conserve many other ‘umbrella’ species which share the same habitat or are vulnerable to similar threats. They provide a focus for improving the way humans use natural resources, and stimulating action and funding to make our consumption patterns more sustainable.

Click here for information on WWF-Australia’s flagship and footprint species.
© Bernard de Wetter / WWF
WWF’s global flagship species:

Dolphins (freshwater)                   
Dolphins (marine)                       
African elephant                         
Asian elephant                          
Giant panda                           
Amur leopard                             
Clouded leopard                  
Snow leopard
Marine turtles
Polar bear
African rhino
Asian rhino
Rock wallabies
Tree kangaroos

Species are threatened in every habitat on every continent

In the time it takes to read this page, one unique species will have become extinct. By this time tomorrow, up to 200 more will have disappeared. And by this time next year, more than 50,000 unique species will have been wiped off the planet forever.

This alarming rate of extinction is possibly 10,000 times greater than the expected natural rate. One in four of the mammals is now threatened with extinction in the near future – as is one in eight birds, one in five sharks, one in four coniferous trees, and one in three amphibians.
Mostly, human activity is to blame for this decline. Our homes, workplaces, food, water use, clothing, fuel, daily consumption and waste all contribute to global species loss:
  • Habitat loss
  • Unsustainable trade
  • Bycatch
  • Climate change
  • Invasive species
  • Pollution
  • Human-animal conflict
Read more here