An Investment in Stripes and Ribbits

February 9, 2012

In a big boost for wildlife, 23 new species conservation projects will receive funding from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the World Bank, and the Global Environment Facility.

One in three amphibians, one in eight birds, and one in four mammals are at risk of extinction in the wild. That’s according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which manages the Red List of Threatened Species™.

To help give some of the species in most dire need a boost, IUCN has allocated $3.3 million to 23 species conservation projects via its SOS (Save Our Species) fund. WCS manages more than a quarter of the awarded projects, including those to help save the Cross River gorilla, the kipunji and Abbott’s duiker (a primate and a forest antelope, respectively), markhor (a wild goat), tiger, wild yak, and frogs in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The SOS conservation fund was initiated by IUCN, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility. The fund aims to conserve a multitude of threatened creatures, and this latest round of support focuses on Asian and African mammals, amphibians, and birds.

“Ignoring species conservation means ignoring a world in which species are currently disappearing at a rate 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal,” says Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Director of IUCN’s Global Species Programme and SOS Director. “The loss of wild plant and animal species is a real threat to human wellbeing, sustainable development and poverty reduction. In these times of economic turmoil, it would be wise not to further damage nature—our ultimate safety net. By implementing on the ground conservation action, the projects SOS select help protect entire habitats which both people and wildlife depend on.”

The current decade has been declared the "Decade of Biodiversity" by the United Nations. IUCN established SOS in October 2010, garnering more than $10 million in financing commitments in order to build a global coalition to protect threatened species and their habitats.

Learn more about the WCS projects receiving SOS funding:

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