Protecting Wildlife for a Healthy Planet
With your support, we are protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable species, from tigers and elephants to polar bears and bison. Through this work, we are also supporting the people who rely on natural resources for economic survival and helping communities protect and advocate for these magnificent creatures.
As detailed below, your generosity has made significant conservation progress possible in the past year. Thank you for helping us advance wildlife conservation on a global scale.
Last July, WWF released a new report entitled Silence of the Snares that examines a phenomenon driving wildlife, including tigers, to extinction. Our analysis indicates that over 12 million snares are set each year throughout protected areas in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. These simple but deadly traps are mostly used to capture wildlife for the illegal wildlife trade and supply an increasing demand for wild meat and animal products in urban areas. Snares are among the greatest threats to the long-term presence of tigers in Southeast Asia, not only killing tigers but also their prey.
Backed by the findings in our report, WWF is now urging governments in Southeast Asia to strengthen legislation to deter snaring; invest in more resources to support patrolling and monitoring of protected areas; adequately train rangers to safely identify snares and prevent poacher incursions into protected areas; and limit the purchase, sale, transport, and consumption of endangered wildlife species.
Residents of Kapau located near Zambia’s Sioma Ngwezi National Park in the KAZA Conservation Area have long shared their limited water resources with their livestock and park wildlife, which often leads to human-wildlife conflicts.
Last year, to mitigate such conflicts, WWF installed a solar powered borehole. Water is now pumped into a 5,200-gallon tank which supplies a nearby community water tap. Instances of human-wildlife conflict have dropped as cattle now have access to water near the new borehole instead of in the park where they are more vulnerable. Since water can now be gathered closer to their homes, and they no longer have to spend several hours a day walking to gather water for their families, women are able to participate in community meetings and decision-making processes. And, community members are creating gardens near their homes, thereby improving community nutrition levels. Meanwhile, some residents are selling produce, generating additional household income.
Once numbering more than 500,000, as few as 29,000 rhinos now roam Africa and Asia. Yet, with your help, rhino conservation has gained traction and populations are on the rebound. In Nepal, the 2021 National Rhino Count showed a promising 16% increase in the country’s rhino population. Based on the survey, conducted by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Nepal from March to April 2021—and in collaboration with WWF-Nepal and others—there are an estimated 752 rhinos in the country, up from the 2015 estimate of 645.
Last fall and winter, 135 plains bison were released onto a portion of the Wolakota Buffalo Range on the land of the Sicangu Oyate, commonly known as the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. They are the first of what will be a herd of 1,500 bison—the beginnings of what will become North America’s largest Native-owned and managed bison herd. Excitingly, in the winter months of 2021, two bison calves were born—the first to be born on this land in the last 140 years. The Wolakota Buffalo Range will provide ecological, economic, and cultural benefits to the Sicangu Oyate and exemplifies the visionary work that Indigenous communities are spearheading, which WWF wholeheartedly supports.
In the spring of 2021, thanks to thousands of generous donors, WWF raised significant funds that will allow us to expand the range and make more than 20,000 acres of native grassland habitat accessible to bison. This exciting project is being advanced by a partnership between the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) and WWF with support from Tribal Land Enterprise, the Rosebud Sioux Tribes’ land management corporation, and the US Department of the Interior.