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.

  • FFI, 2013A-057, Cape Verde, Mobula thurstoni, SOS Save OUr Species
    Shark conservation project first: identification of juvenile Bentfin Devil Ray in Cape Verde
    So much remains to be understood about the oceans and the life they harbour. The recent discovery of a juvenile Bentfin Devil Ray (Mobula thurstoni) in waters near Cape Verde by members of an SOS gran...
  • 2013A-062, World Parrot Trust, SOS Save Our Species, Timneh Parrot
    Major trafficker of African parrots arrested and 89 threatened Timneh parrots seized
    On the 18th September, after months of painstaking investigations, a major trafficker of African wild parrots and other birds was arrested in Dakar, Senegal.
  • SOS - Save our Species; 2013A-073; WCS; Preuss's Red Colobus; first sighting
    Presence of Preuss’s Red Colobus confirmed in Cross River National Park’s Oban Division
    “Persistence in anti-poaching patrolling pays off” according to Inaoyom Imong, Director of the Cross River Landscape for IUCN Member and SOS Grantee, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). In 1 year...
  • 13A-066-011, RSCF, SOS - Save Our Species, Mecistops_cataphractus, Female Breeder, AbidjanNationalZoo, MattShirley
    More Slender-snouted Crocodiles thanks to improved captive-breeding in Abidjan National Zoo
    “Now, at the beginning of our third breeding season here at the Abidjan National Zoo we’re incubating 110 eggs – that’s almost 50% more than 2014!” says Dr. Matt Shirley. Project coordinator with SOS ...
  • SOS - Save Our Species, FFI, 2013A-072, Pygmy Hippo, Wonegizi
    How a single Pygmy Hippo photo gave rise to the Wonegizi Proposed Protected Area Project
    To think an entire project could have been sparked by a single grainy black and white photo of a Critically Endangered Pygmy Hippo is remarkable, comments Josh Kempinski. He is project coordinator wit...
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