SOS - Save Our Species

Catalysing knowledge into action

IUCN SOS – Save Our Species contributes to the long-term survival of threatened species, their habitats and the people who depend on them, by supporting civil society organisations. 

It aims to build the capacity of civil society organisations and communicate their successes to inspire more people to support this universal cause of protecting species - the building blocks of our life support system. SOS is IUCN's response to the challenges identified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, mobilising IUCN's unique knowledge and expertise from the members of the Species Survival Commission and its many Specialist Groups.

SOS supports direct action on species conservation priorities informed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ and Species Survival Commission (SSC) experts, Species Profiles and Action Plans.

The programme achieves its conservation objectives by funding initiatives coordinating a portfolio of one and two year projects across the globe that each addresses one or more of the most pressing threats wildlife face in the 21st century.

Funding is available both to IUCN Members and non-members. Funding applications respond to strategically defined Calls for Proposals issued periodically by SOS. These applications are then evaluated and shortlisted with the support of relevant members of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

Conservation Action Delivering Results

  • More than 300 threatened species of animals and plants protected
  • More than 140 projects directly supporting almost 80 NGOs including 30 IUCN Members.
  • Presence in more than 70 countries, in more than 80 protected areas and more than 10 World Heritage sites.
  • More than $30 million raised for species conservation so far.
  • Increases in population of California Condors, Spoon-billed Sandpipers, Hirola, Mangrove Finches, River turtles, Crocodiles, Javan Rhinos, and many more.
  • Creation of new livelihood opportunities;
  • Identification of new protected areas;
  • Several world-firsts in innovative conservation interventions;
  • Dozens of arrests and prosecutions made in tackling international wildlife crime;
  • New species discovered!
  • Thousands of minds inspired to join this universal cause!



Species conservation is under-funded yet the benefits to communities and habitats as well as to threatened species from coordinated conservation work on the ground are numerous and documented. Your contributions can help SOS continue its vital work.



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