SOS - Save Our Species is a global partnership initiated by the three founding members IUCN, GEF and World Bank to build the biggest species conservation fund, supporting frontline species conservation projects all over the world.


SOS combines the resources and funding experience from the World Bank and GEF (Global Environment Facility), the authoritative science of IUCN and the resources and ingenuity of the private sector to create a mechanism that ensures sufficient funding goes to species conservation projects where and when it will have the most impact.


SOS grants are allocated according to strategic directions identified in consultation with IUCN`s Global Species Programme and Species Survival Commission using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ to help inform funding priorities.


SOS - Save Our Species At A Glance

1. Launched in 2010 SOS is the go-to mechanism to support the best frontline wildlife conservation projects worldwide.


2. For governments SOS directly addresses three key Aichi Targets agreed by the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010. These include Aichi Target 1 about raising awareness of biodiversity, Aichi Target 12 concerning the reduction in biodiversity loss and finally Aichi Target 20 related to the mobilization of additional resources to tackle the growing biodiversity crisis.


3. To date SOS has disbursed $9 million in species conservation grants and leveraged a further $12 million in funding. In total SOS has granted more than $3 million to projects addressing wildlife crime in various forms and for a diversity of species. Additionally SOS helped initiate and jointly manages IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme; a $23 million 5-year programme.


4. The SOS portfolio currently features a total 87 projects, protecting more than 230 threatened species, by supporting 60 NGOs while operating in 50 countries worldwide.


5. SOS was an early supporter of the SMART Program (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) rollout via the SMART Tiger project. This is our largest grant to date worth $700,000. SMART’s rapid adoption, especially in protected areas management situations, testifies to its effectiveness. Furthermore, since its launch, more than ten SOS funded projects have adopted SMART technology independently of SOS funding. SMART has set a new standard in the sector.


6. SOS has recorded many conservation successes including new populations of species discovered, population increases, dozens of wildlife crime interventions, various head-starting successes among birds and reptiles, the creation of protected areas, the creation of many new sources of livelihoods for communities and individuals alike.


7. World firsts in species conservation supported by SOS funding include: “head-starting” of Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Critically Endangered Mangrove finches to boost wild breeding populations by releasing juvenile birds hatched in captivity.


8. Several SOS grantees have been nominated and recognised for their work by international awards.

  • 13A-050-013, WCS; Okapi faunal Reserve, SOS Save Our Species,
    Getting SMARTer about protected areas management in the Okapi Faunal Reserve, DRC
    Protected Area management effectiveness improvements are critical to protecting threatened species in such areas. The Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) - the design and implementation of w...
  • SOS Save our Species; Stichting Chimbo 2013A-049; alternative income; building bins
    Ecotourism as an alternative source of income generation in the Boé
    Great news from Guinea-Bissau where SOS grantee Stichting Chimbo is developing an innovative ecotourism initiative in the form of a renovated campsite for tourists. 
  • SOS - Save our Species; Lemurs Initiative; Young black and white ruffed lemur
    IUCN’s Save Our Species announces SOS Lemurs – an SOS Special Initiative
    In July 2015, SOS – Save Our Species launched its fourth Call for Proposals (CFP); this time dedicated to helping save Madagascar’s lemurs. Successful projects from this CFP will be the first grantees...
  • SOS - Save our Species, Terrapin turtles, WCS, TSA, 12A-031
    One of World’s Rarest Turtles Heading Back to the Wild
    Great news from Cambodia, one of the four countries where the Turtle Survival Alliance and its partners are implementing an SOS-funded project to help protect and conserve the South East Asian Terrapi...
  • 12A-026, SOS Save our Species, Poachers sentenced, Encephalartos Lehmannii, EWT
    Cycad poacher sentenced to 10 years of prison
    In a ground-breaking decision, and for the first time on record in the Eastern Cape and possibly in South Africa as a whole, an Encephalartos cycad poacher has been sentenced to ten years of direct im...
Dr. Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission
Simon Stuart
"SOS is the mechanism to instigate transformative change for threatened species and the communities that depend on them."
Did You Know: SOS acts on the knowledge generated by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and uses the expertise of the Species Survival Commission to select the best projects.
SOS - Save Our Species
>> A global coalition to conserve threatened species and their habitats