SOS - Save Our Species

Catalysing knowledge into action

Created in 2010, SOS – Save Our Species is a joint initiative of IUCN, the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank and supported by other donors. Its objective is to ensure the long-term survival of threatened species and their habitats.SOS selects the best front-line conservation projects for funding, ensures they achieve their stated objectives and communicates about the successes of a species conservation approach to sustainable development.

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 initiative achieves its conservation objectives by funding 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.

Five years of action

  • More than 250 threatened species of animals and plants protected
  • 109 projects directly supporting almost 80 NGOs including 30 IUCN Members.
  • Presence in more than 50 countries, in more than 80 protected areas and more than 10 World Heritage sites.
  • US$10 million allocated to 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; new species discovered; several world-firsts in innovative conservation interventions; dozens of arrests and prosecutions made in tackling international wildlife crime; and thousands of minds inspired.  


In 5 years, SOS has helped protect 250 species from extinction thanks to 109 projects in 52 countries. Much more needs to be done however: extinction pressures such as the illegal wildlife trade, habitat degradation, human disturbance and invasive species all continue to threaten many species of plants and animals worldwide.

Species are like the knots in the complex web of life – nature – our only life support system. By saving them we are in turn saving ourselves. Will you help us as we work to find and support the best projects out there that can help Save Our Species?



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SOS Coordinator: Alessandro Badalotti: alessandro.badalotti@iucn.org

SOS Communications & Marketing Officer: Simon Bradley simon.bradley@iucn.org

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