WWF Statement on IUCN Down-listings for Mountain Gorillas and Fin Whales

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced its update to the Red List of Threatened Species with positive news - the status of the fin whale has been revised from Endangered to Vulnerable and for mountain gorillas – from Critically Endangered to Endangered. In response, WWF issued the following statements: 

“Today’s announcement by IUCN on the down-listing of fin whales and mountain gorillas shows that these threatened species are slowly beginning to recover due in part to strategic policy changes as well as practical and concerted conservation action. The announcement brings a great sense of hope and demonstrates just what can be achieved when people make conscious decisions to protect nature. But let's not be complacent, WWF’s recently published Living Planet Report clearly indicates that the health of our planet is at serious risk and the gains made with these species can quickly be eroded if conservation efforts are not sustained and scaled up.”

--Magaret Kinnaird, Wildlife Practice Leader


“We’re another step closer to achieving healthy, stable populations of mountain gorillas thanks to extraordinary commitment from so many dedicated people. That said, mountain gorillas remain endangered and dependent on concerted conservation efforts. The good news is these efforts are working. Continued focus on community engagement, prevention of disease transmission and law enforcement can give mountain gorillas a greater chance at survival. These efforts are a shining example for so many other species in need of global concerted conservation action."

--Bas Huijbregts, African Species Manager, WWF-US


“It’s encouraging to hear good news for fin and western gray whales today. This shows that bans on commercial whaling, in tandem with other conservation methods, are effective when there is multi-lateral cooperation. But the world’s whales continue to face a myriad of threats. To see similar progress for other whale species, we must maintain the moratorium on commercial whaling and address threats like bycatch and entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes and climate change.”

--Leigh Henry, Director for Wildlife Policy, WWF-US