World Wildlife Fund - WWF
Known worldwide by its panda logo, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is dedicated to protecting the world's wildlife and wildlands. The largest privately supported international conservation organization in the world, WWF has more than 1 million members in the U.S. alone. Since its inception in 1961, WWF has invested in over 13,100 projects in 157 countries.
WWF directs its conservation efforts toward three global goals: protecting endangered spaces, saving endangered species, and addressing global threats. From working to save the giant panda, tiger, and rhino to helping establish and manage parks and reserves worldwide, WWF has been a conservation leader for 40 years.
Use the options on the left to learn more about WWF's work to preserve wild places, save endangered species, and address global threats.
History of WWF
In 1961, the entire natural world seemed to be under siege. A limited number of organizations around the world, such as IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) and The Conservation Foundation, were trying to meet conservation needs, but they were all desperately short of funds.
A small but influential group of Europeans-scientists, naturalists, and business and political leaders-rose to the occasion. In September of that year, they founded World Wildlife Fund.
Several leaders-Sir Julian Huxley, noted biologist and African wildlife enthusiast; Sir Peter Scott, a vice president of IUCN; and E. M. Nicholson, director-general of the British Nature Conservancy-arranged the key organizational meeting for the new venture. There, plans were made to establish it as an international fund-raising organization that would work in collaboration with existing conservation groups to bring substantial financial support to the conservation movement on a worldwide scale. The new organization would raise funds through national appeals and, using the best scientific advice available from IUCN and other sources, channel them to appropriate organizations. Its first call for broad support was the Morges Manifesto, signed in 1961 by 16 of the world's leading conservationists, including Edward Graham, distinguished ecologist and former head of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. On September 11, 1961, World Wildlife Fund was legally formed and soon set up shop at IUCN's headquarters in Morges, Switzerland. H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands became its first president. H.R.H. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, became president of the British National Appeal, the first national organization in the World Wildlife Fund family.
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The second national organization to be formed was World Wildlife Fund, Inc. (WWF)-the U.S. appeal. Incorporated in the District of Columbia on December 1, 1961, WWF named Dwight D. Eisenhower its President of Honor. Ira N. Gabrielson and Russell E. Train were the first president and vice president, respectively.
Where We Work
World Wildlife Fund leads worldwide efforts to protect the world's threatened wildlife and the habitats they need to survive. We are different from other conservation organizations because of the major international scope of our programs.
World Wildlife Fund US is part of the international WWF network, which has national organizations or representatives in more than 50 countries across five continents. We are uniquely positioned to act quickly when conservation emergencies arise, such as the need to save a highly endangered species or habitat or to acquire valuable land for a park or protected area.
Use the links on the left to learn more about what WWF-US is doing to save wildife and wildlands in Africa, Asia, Latin America, or North America, or read about our global, ecoregion-based conservation work in the Endangered Spaces section of this website.
For more information about the international WWF Network, or to see a full listing of WWF national organizations around the world, please be sure to visit
How You Can Help
If we want to pass a living planet on to our children, then we need to realize that our actions matter.
But what can YOU do? This Web site is full of ideas and resources to help you get involved with WWF and our work to save endangered species, preserve wild places, and address global threats.
Help WWF Make a Difference:
to help us continue our work to protect endangered species and spaces, and to address global threats like climate change, overfishing, toxic chemicals and deforestation.
Join the Conservation Action Network:
With our electronic advocacy network, the , you can contact government leaders and other decision makers.
Take the Living Planet Pledge
The is a promise that you will Learn More, Speak Up and Take Action. Those who take the Pledge will receive a special thanks from WWF.
Our are full of helpful information about what you can do in your everyday life to help make a difference.
Order a Free Action Kit:
WWF's is full of things you and your family can do to help protect endangered species, preserve wild places and address global threats.
Pennies for the Planet:
An annual kids campaign that links environmental education and action, is a great way for students and youth organizations to raise funds and learn more about conservation.
Travel with WWF:
WWF offers to areas of the world rich in wildlife that highlight the organization's goals.
In our , you can send a free online postcard or download the WWF screensaver.
Purchase online and help our conservation efforts. A portion of every sale goes to WWF.