Save Our Species (SOS) Provides $2.5 Million to Help Save Species from Extinction

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Save Our Species (SOS) is providing $2.5 million to fund 25 new projects in an effort to help save endangered species from extinction.

With more funding available from a broader range of sponsors and donors, we can be much more efficient in addressing the current biodiversity crisis. Jean Christophe Vié.

Save Our Species (SOS) is providing $2.5 million fund 25 new conservation projects in an effort to help save species from extinction, according to Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Director of IUCN’s Global Species Programme and SOS Director.

“The latest injection of US$ 2.5 million doubles the number of active SOS projects,” says Vié. “Dolphins, dugongs, manatees, gibbons, rhinos, tigers and many other lesser known yet similarly threatened species such as river turtles, Asian crocodiles, flying foxes, myriad freshwater fish and plant species are going to benefit from what will be the second round of species conservation”

SOS is a global coalition initiated by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank.

Through its species-focus approach, SOS aims to stop biodiversity loss and increase resources for biodiversity conservation. IUCN manages the initiative by channeling resources to fund the best projects undertaken by civil society around the world – projects which are technically sound, well designed, cost effective, have a good chance of success, and which explain conservation in an engaging way to the public.

According to Vié, the new SOS projects will be implemented by NGOs across the Americas, Africa and Asia, and will focus on a broad range of species groups that have been assessed by the IUCN Red List. These include small marine mammals, freshwater African fish, tropical terrestrial Asian vertebrates and cycads – one of the world’s oldest plant groups.

In addition, the SOS projects will address the conservation needs of species such as the vaquita, the world’s smallest dolphin which is critically endangered in its only home the Gulf of California; and the Javan and Sumatran rhinoceroses, also in urgent need of support and protection.

“But much more needs to be done in the field of species conservation,” says Vié.

Vié says this current effort by SOS only scratches the surface when it comes to funding the projects needed to save the thousands of species –both plant and animal- currently in danger of extinction. He points to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, which indicates one in three amphibians, one in four mammals and one in eight birds are at risk of extinction in the wild.

“Every year we receive more project proposals than we can possibly fund and the selection process is extremely challenging,” says Vié. “With more funding available from a broader range of sponsors and donors, we can be much more efficient in addressing the current biodiversity crisis. That is why we are ramping up our efforts in promoting SOS to individuals and companies alike with the possibility to make online donations while also engaging with several progressive industry leaders.”

To date SOS projects have worked with more than 150 species listed as threatened on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, positively impacting wildlife as well as local communities.

“We invite everyone who is interested and passionate about protecting the world’s animals and plants to join us and help answer the SOS call from the wild,” says IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre, “so that we can do more for the amazing diversity of life on our planet on which our own lives depend so dearly.”

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