Species conservation action

Species are the fundamental components of biodiversity and we rely on their survival for our own existence. However, our current biodiversity crisis is so severe that conservation activities are essential for the survival of many different species. From in situ and ex situ species recovery programmes, to the establishment of protected areas, to capacity building, conservation action can take many forms. Thankfully, IUCN has access to an extensive network of organisations and scientists that makes effective conservation action possible.

Assess, Plan, Act

IUCN and the Species Survival Commission (SSC) approach conservation efforts by taking into account three essential steps: Assess, Plan and Act.

While Assess is about assessing the conservation status of species and Plan is the part of the process that enables the development of conservation strategies to protect species, it is only in Act, the last step of the process, that we are able to deliver conservation action on the ground that saves species from extinction.

IUCN currently has a variety of different programmes and initiatives that implement and guide species conservation action around the world. Reverse the Red, IUCN Save Our Species, the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme and others make use of a carefully balanced network that involves different stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations, scientists, government agencies and local communities. By collaborating together, we are able to have a tangible, positive impact on biodiversity and threatened wildlife.

Forging strong partnerships between donors and the conservation community is therefore essential to lay the groundwork for effective species conservation action. If we want to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss and increase species population numbers, this is where we should focus our efforts.

IUCN Save Our Species


IUCN Save Our Species is IUCN's response to the challenges identified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ and Species Survival Commission (SSC) experts. The programme focuses its efforts where they will have the biggest impact by funding frontline conservation organisations across the world who have unique knowledge of their region and the local biodiversity.

Conservation Action Delivering Results:


species protected


successful projects


countries covered


The alarm has been raised repeatedly about the decline in biodiversity across the planet. By allowing this decline to continue, we erode the very foundations of our traditions, economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and even the existence of life worldwide. As one species falls, it takes with it the whole chain of species that depend on it. Be it bees or tigers, these act as dominos falling one after the other, ultimately leading back to us and putting all of mankind at risk.

Find out more about why we should protect species

Flagship initiatives leads by SSC

Amphibian Survival Alliance

Amphibian Survival Alliance is the world’s largest collaborative effort dedicated to amphibian conservation, research and education. The Alliance brings together governments, industry, non-profits, citizens and others to address the leading threats to amphibians.

Further info read more

Asian Species Action Partnership

Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP) is an interagency coalition to address the extinction risk among the most threatened land and freshwater vertebrates of Southeast Asia. ASAP consists of Partner organisations – such as NGOs, donors, researchers and government agencies – who are interested in implementing and / or funding conservation for ASAP species.

Further info read more

Sumatran Rhino Rescue

Sumatran Rhino Rescue is a ground-breaking alliance between IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), World Wildlife Fund, International Rhino Foundation, Re:wild and the Government of Indonesia to save the Critically Endangered Sumatran rhino from imminent extinction. 

Further info read more
Bears_Landscape by Kira Mileham
Press release
IUCN’s New “Green Status of Species” Measures Impact of Conservation Action

The first 181 IUCN Green Status of Species preliminary assessments are outlined in a Conservation Biology paper published today. From California condors to East Asian mangroves, the Green Status shows specific conservation metrics for…