Healthy Planet. legacy circle

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1 Protecting Wildlife A FOR Healthy Planet Andy Rouse PROGRESS REPORT legacy circle As you will read in this report, last year we marked critical victories for some of Earth s most iconic and beloved species from the icy Arctic s polar bear to East Africa s savannah elephants. Each of these successes is because of you. Together, we are defending and protecting wildlife and making certain each species survives long into the future. Thank you.

2 Ending Wildlife Crime Wildlife crime poses an urgent threat to three of the world s best-loved species elephants, rhinos, and tigers undermining decades of work to conserve their populations in the wild. With you, we continue to mount the global response that is required to end the illegal wildlife trade. Thank you for making the following remarkable achievements possible. US REGULATIONS TO PUT AN END TO COMMERCIAL IVORY TRADE. Last July, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service adopted new regulations that will largely end the commercial elephant ivory trade across state borders in the US and set a valuable example for other countries. Last year, an unprecedented 1 million people signed WWF s petition in support of this decision. CHINA COMMITS TO CLOSING DOMESTIC IVORY MARKET. In December, China committed to closing its domestic ivory market by the end of In addition to coordinating public engagement campaigns to make ivory socially unacceptable, WWF and TRAFFIC released a report in August 2016 with recommendations for a China ban and worked both publicly and behind the scenes to push for this policy change. China and the US are two of the world s biggest consumer markets for wildlife products. The historic decision by both countries to phase out commercial elephant ivory trade is a monumental step that few would have predicted a year ago. Greg Armfield/WWF-UK 3

3 RESTORING CRITICAL WILDLIFE POPULATIONS WWF s Living Planet Report recently found that populations of vertebrate species declined 58 percent between 1970 and With your support, WWF fights to reverse this trend by restoring critical wildlife populations and protecting the amazing creatures that live alongside us. TIGERS For the first time in 100 years, the number of wild tigers is on the rise! According to the most recent data, around 3,890 tigers now exist in the wild up from an estimated 3,200 in National surveys have shown that tiger numbers have increased in India, Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan. We still have a long way to go, but this reversal in the declining trend of the last century gives us hope that the tiger will continue to maintain its rightful place as the king of the Asian jungles. Adam Oswell/WWF RHINOS Over the last century, rhinos have been among the most hunted animals on the planet. Without the dedicated efforts of the global conservation community, many rhino species would be long gone. Through your support, WWF works to reduce demand for and consumption of rhino horn in key consuming countries, protects rhinos in key habitats, and uses translocation to expand rhino populations and increase genetic diversity. The resurgence of the greater one-horned rhino is a success story that exemplifies the impact of your support. Once found across the entire northern part of the Indian sub-continent, the greater one-horned rhino was pushed very close to extinction in the early 20th century. By 1975, only 600 individuals survived in the wild. By 2015, decades of rigorous conservation efforts, including the work of WWF, saw the population grow to 3,555 in the Terai Arc Landscape of India and Nepal, and the grasslands of Assam and north Bengal in northeast India. 4 Jeff Foott/WWF

4 naturepl.com/andy Rouse/WWF-Canon GIANT PANDA Recently, in a welcome piece of news for the worlds threatened wildlife, the giant panda was downgraded from Endangered to Vulnerable on the global list of species at risk of extinction. Giant panda populations in the wild have risen steadily by 17 percent in the decade up to 2014 when a nationwide census found 1,850 giant pandas in the wild in China, which is an increase from the last census of 1,600 animals in For decades, WWF has been working with the Chinese government to save giant pandas and their habitat, including helping to establish an integrated network of giant panda reserves and wildlife corridors. POLAR BEARS The loss of sea ice habitat from climate change is the biggest threat to the survival of polar bears. With your support, WWF advocates for governments to recognize and mitigate the effects of climate change and works to protect polar bears. This includes ensuring ratification of the climate agreement passed in Paris in December 2015, monitoring polar bear populations, mitigating conflict between polar bears and people, and reducing the impacts of industrial development in the Arctic. Last year, WWF supported the Native Village of Wales a remote Alaskan village on the Bering Strait as they officially established a Polar Bear Patrol to protect wildlife and residents in the face of a changing climate. Steve Morello/WWF-US BISON WWF has been working in the Northern Great Plains since 2002, protecting the grasslands, building strong partnerships with Native American tribes and local ranchers, and restoring wildlife, including the plains bison which is the largest mammal in the United States. Last year we celebrated a major success when, in a show of bipartisan support, the US House of Representatives passed the National Bison Legacy Act, honoring a species once on the brink of extinction. The bison now serves as the national mammal of the United States. More than 46,000 WWF constituents signed our petition calling on members of Congress to support and pass the National Bison Legacy Act. WWF hopes that this designation will encourage more Americans to be interested and invested in bison recovery efforts, ultimately helping to ensure that the species thrives well into the future. Florian Schulz/visionsofthewild.com 7

5 With Thanks Thanks to your support, we are giving magnificent wildlife around the world the chance to survive and thrive. In protecting flagship species like tigers, rhinos, polar bears, bison, and giant pandas, we protect whole landscapes or marine areas and support the survival of a host of other species. From the one-horned rhino s resurgence in the Terai Arc Landscape and beyond to the massive bison once again roaming the American plains, together we can protect and restore our planet s diverse species. Thank you for making this work possible. Clay Bolt/WWF-US

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