Who you choose to send your wildlife donations to matters. Today, more than ever before, You can really help save wildlife! But knowing which organization to send your money to is essential.
It is estimated we are loosing 140,000 species per year. In the 40 years I’ve been working with Wildlife NGO’s I’ve never experienced such an important and pressing time for wildlife protection.
The good news is that each of us can make a difference with our donations.
But how do you know that the organizations you donate to are actually helping save wildlife? How do you know they aren’t wasting your money?
Elephants, rhino, lions, gorillas, tigers, polar bears, and orangutans… they all need our help now if we are going to continue to see them in the wild.
Wildlife is being annihilated at an unprecedented rate. This period in history is called the Holocene extinction (also known as the 6th extinction), and is characterized by the presence of humans.
Every day we loose 385 species. Gone. Extinct. Forever.
Never to be seen in the wild again.
I have compiled a list for you of my favorite organizations helping wildlife. All are highly respected NGO’s in their field. Many I have worked with, and donated to personally or through SavingWild.com.
While many of the organizations are in Africa, many are not. They cover a wide variety of species in different areas around the world. Some are tiny operations like the Elephant Umbrella Fund, run by one person and focused on Asian Elephants, and others are larger organizations, like Wildlife Conservation Network, working around the world to save a variety of species.
There are many, many, I haven’t included. But that doesn’t mean those aren’t also doing great work.
If after perusing the list, you still are unsure where to donate this season, simply donate to SavingWild.com and let us choose where the money will go:
We bundle your donation with others for greater impact and give it to the most effective organizations with the most critical need.
Here you go – in no particular order – are 20 of my favorite Wildlife NGO’s
1. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
For orphaned elephants and rhinos it doesn’t get better than this place. With an orphanage in Nairobi and a wild release and anti-poaching program in Kenya’s largest national Park, Tsavo, this organization is currently overwhelmed with baby-orphaned elephants as a result of the escalating poaching crisis.
WildlifeDirect is a Kenya and US registered organization founded and chaired by African conservationist Dr. Richard Leakey, who is credited with putting an end to the elephant slaughter in Kenya in the 1980s. Established in 2006 WildlifeDirect provides support to conservationists in Africa directly on the ground via the use of blogs, which enables anybody, anywhere to play a direct and interactive role in the survival of some of the world’s most precious species.
3. Tusk Trust
Based in Britain with twenty-two years experience initiating and funding conservation, community development and environmental education programs across Africa, Tusk has raised over $30 million for a wide range of projects across the African continent.
4. Cheetah Conservation Fund
Dr. Markers Cheetah Conservation Fund is a model for other wildlife organizations with her pioneering work engaging communities in Namibia to help her protect cheetah.
5. Ngamba Island
This 100-acre sanctuary in Uganda rescues orphaned and abused chimps from the bush meat, entertainment and pet trade industries. Through their ‘adopt a chimp’ program you can support one of the 48 chimps currently living there.
Dedicated to conserving the world’s 36 species of wild cats, Panthera partners with local and international scientific institutions, communities, non-governmental organizations and government agencies to conserve endangered wild cats, including tigers, lions, jaguars, and snow leopards around the world.
7. Dazzle Africa
This small organization run by a few inspiring women out of Las Vegas, Nevada focuses their education, conservation and community enhancement projects in Mfuwe, Zambia.
8. African Wildlife Conservation Fund
The African Wildlife Conservation Fund promotes the long-term sustainability of healthy wildlife populations via research and educational partnerships with landowners and community members, natural resource managers, conservationists, and governments in Africa.
9. Performing Animal Welfare Society
PAWS is at the forefront of efforts to rescue and provide appropriate, humane sanctuary for animals (especially elephants) who have been the victims of the exotic and performing animal trades.
10. Orangutan Foundation International
The OFI supports the conservation, protection, and understanding of Orangutans and their rain forest habitat while caring for ex-captive orphaned orangutans with the goal of releasing them back to the wild.
I hope you are finding this list of wildlife NGO’s useful, and that you will sign up to Saving Wild, joining our tribe of other like-hearted wildlife lovers.
11. The Wild Foundation
As the heart of the global wilderness community for over 40 years, The WILD Foundation protects wilderness while meeting the needs of human communities, working across cultures and boundaries by collaborating with local peoples, organizations, the private sector, and governments to create dynamic practical projects and communications initiatives.
Painted Dogs, or African Wild Dogs, are among Africa’s most endangered species with only 3,000 – 5,000 left. Zimbabwe is home to one of the last strongholds of the species and PDC work with local communities is having a positive effect on the outlook of the Painted Dog species. Saving Wild has partnered with this organization to sponsor school children to go through Wild School.
13. Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders’ approach is direct and straightforward – they “protect and restore imperiled species throughout North America by transforming policies and institutions and promoting innovative solutions” –making a lasting difference for wildlife and its habitats.
14. Save the Elephants
Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s research on wild elephant populations in Northern Kenya has taught the world much about elephant behavior, and migrating patterns. His ‘Save the Elephants’ organization is focused on stopping poachers, thwarting traffickers and ending demand for ivory (using educational programs in China where it is desperately needed).
Peta’s statement that “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way,” says it all.
16. Wildlife Conservation Network
WCN saves endangered species in 24 countries around the world by supporting 14 independent wildlife conservationists working with different wildlife species. They also have an annual Conferece in San Francisco where supporters can meet and hear from WCN’s conservationists.
17. The Great Apes Survival Partnership
GRASP is an innovative and ambitious partnership comprised of great ape range states faced with an immediate challenge: to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans across their ranges in Equatorial Africa and Southeast Asia.
WildAid is the only organization focused on reducing the demand for wildlife parts and products, with the strong and simple message: when the buying stops, the killing can too. Their mission is to end illegal wildlife trade.
The world’s oceans are in trouble, and this organization works with companies and legislators to bring about more sustainable practices for the long-term health of the ocean and its creatures.
And one more… this is not an NGO but worth including:
20. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)
The Kenya Wildlife Service’s (KWS) mandate is to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya, and to enforce related laws and regulations. Anti-poaching forces from across Africa train at the KWS police training Academy. KWS is one of the most respected wildlife enforcement agencies in the world and deserves your wildlife donation and a place on this list.
For just $18 you can send a student to a National Park where, through Saving Wild’s Wild School Program, they learn to care about wild places and wildlife.