© Oliver Scholey/Silverback/Netflix
Priority species

WWF’s goal for wildlife, is to contribute towards ensuring that the most threatened and ecologically, economically, and culturally important species are secure in the wild, on land and in the water. One of the ways we do this is by focusing our conservation efforts on a set of priority species whose survival cannot be guaranteed by conserving their habitat alone.

Our 10 priority clusters


  • Giant panda
  • Polar bear

Big cats

More info: Living with Big Cats


  • African elephants
  • Asian elephants


  • African rhinos (white and black)
  • Asian rhinos (greater one-horned, Javan, Sumatran)

Great apes

  • African great apes (chimpanzee, gorilla (Eastern & Western), bonobo)
  • Orang-utans (Bornean and Sumatran) 


  • 20 marine and 6 freshwater species are listed. See here for a full list of current Cetaceans priority species.

More info: Whales | River Dolphins

Marine turtles

  • Leatherback
  • Hawksbill 
  • Loggerhead
  • Green
  • Olive Ridley 

More info


No species listed yet 

Sharks and rays

WWF and TRAFFIC's work on this taxa as a whole is considered a priority, with a particular focus on CITES listed species.  

More info


WWF's work on this taxa as a whole is considered a priority

More info 

Strategically focusing efforts on these species will also help conserve the many other species that share their habitats and are vulnerable to the same threats.

In addition to these 10 priority clusters, WWF naturally works to protect many other species through its work across the globle.