5 Organizations You Should Know that Help Endangered Animals

There is no doubt that our world is a beautiful thing. From the crimson and auburn leaves that crunch with every step in the fall to the cherry blossoms that bloom during April showers, nature changes through time. Though nature can be beautiful as the leaves change, the destruction of natural habitats and environmental damage have the ability to hurt the lives of some of the most beautiful living organisms that inhabit this very Earth: animals. With species like chimpanzees, green turtles, and black rhinos being endangered as we speak, there are a multitude of charities and organizations that continue to make efforts to protect animals across the globe, and here are just five of those organizations you should know about.

  1. 1. World Wildlife Fund

    Working in more than 100 countries across the globe, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the world’s leading conservation organization. Since 1961, the WWF has been fighting to develop and deliver innovative solutions that protect wildlife and the communities they inhabit. Their work surrounds six main goals: climate, food, forests, fresh water, oceans, and of course, wildlife. While the WWF has a list of endangered species on their website, they focus their efforts on species like tigers and rhinos in ensuring that they are protected because of their impact on the survival of other species.

    How you can help: There are many ways you can contribute to being a supporter of the world’s leading conservation organization. Take action by asking your local senators to cosponsor the Arctic Refuge Protection Act, which protects the Coastal Plains of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas development. You can also ask your member of Congress to cosponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which helps ensure that the U.S. contributes to the fight against illegal tiger trade. You can even apply to be a member of the Panda Ambassador Program, which is a level of engagement for those committed to saving wildlife and the environment while supporting WWF. The WWF has a list of all of the possible ways you can contribute to their organization.

  2. 2. Jane Goodall Institute

    In 1960, Jane Goodall is well-known for her six-decade-long study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees. She discovered that their species was threatened by habitat destruction and illegal trafficking, which led her to develop an approach to species conservation. In 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) was born, in which her vision continues to mobilize the collective power of individual action to preserve the environment and our world’s wildlife. The JGI has a multitude of strategies to spread their message across the globe. From Roots and Shoots, the organization’s global youth program, to working to protect chimpanzees and great apes against disease transmission and illegal hunting at Tchimpounga Sanctuary in the Republic of Congo, the JGI continues to carry Jane Goodall’s vision through every project they conduct.

    How you can help: By donating to the JGI, you can show your support for the JGI and their efforts to protect chimpanzees and the natural world. There are also ways to get involved beyond donating to the organization. For both young people and educators, they have the opportunity to get involved with the Roots and Shoots program, which aims to empower young people to affect positive change in their communities. The JGI gives you an opportunity to become a Chimp Guardian in support of the organization’s work to protect orphaned chimpanzees rescued from the illegal pet or bushmeat trade at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in Africa.

  3. 3. Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

    The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is the longest-running and largest organization committed to gorilla conservation. Formerly called the Digit Fund, the organization was created in 1978 by Dian Fossey, in which she wanted to finance her anti-poaching patrols and prevent the poaching of mountain gorillas. In 1967, Fossey also founded the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda to further her efforts to protect mountain gorillas. Although her life was tragically cut short, her work has continued through the Karisoke Research Center and grown into other conservation efforts for other wildlife. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s approach includes collaboration with local governments and partners from around the world.

    How you can help: Like the Jane Goodall Institute, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund allows you to make a donation to their organization so you can contribute to the efforts of gorilla conservation. You can symbolically adopt a gorilla, and get to know them through their protection by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. When you adopt a gorilla, you receive a digital profile and certificate, as well as videos and photos. You can also become a monthly donor, where you give ongoing support and revenue to help the protection of gorillas.

  4. 4. Panthera

    Panthera is the only organization that is exclusively devoted to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their habitats. They vision a world where wild cats thrive in healthy natural habitats and landscapes that sustain biodiversity. Founded in 2006, Panthera focuses its efforts on implementing strategies to protect the most imperiled large cats: tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, leopards, and pumas. The organization also partners with nonprofits, scientific institutions, local communities, and governments across the globe to ensure the conservation and protection of wild cats. Panthera also has a grants program called the Small Cat Action Fund that supports conservation and research initiatives on smaller wild cat species.

    How you can help: Aside from donating to the organization, loyal patrons and followers can start their own online fundraising campaign with Panthera as a way to get involved in efforts to help save and protect wild cats across the globe. You can also sign up for updates on their email list to stay informed and be notified about issues facing the wild cat populations, as well as more ways you can contribute to their conservation.

  5. 5. Project AWARE Foundation

    The Project AWARE Foundation focuses its efforts on marine conservation. Their conservation adventure started as a project, which was an environmental ethic initiated by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) in the late 1980s. One of their priorities is protecting sharks and rays, as they remain a low priority for many fishery managers as the most vulnerable animals in the world’s oceans. Project AWARE and its conservation partners have formed the Shark League for the Atlantic and Mediterranean in order to advance safeguards for sharks and rays at specific Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RMFOs). They also have a project called Dive Against Debris, which empowers scuba divers to remove marine debris from the world’s oceans. 

    How you can help: You can sign Project AWARE’s petition to help end controlled mako shark fishing. In 2019, they managed to convince more governments to support protections of threatened Atlantic mako shark species from overfishing. Canada and Senegal led the calls for countries to follow the scientific advice to drastically limit the catches of mako sharks in the Atlantic, but unfortunately progress was halted due to opposition from some countries. You can also find and report debris for Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris data collection to help forward their efforts in working towards solutions that diminish the frequency of marine debris.