We need to value our diverse wildlife.

Photo Credit: Martin Harvey

South Africa is home to iconic wildlife including the largest land mammals – the African elephant and rhinos. In recent years, these species have been under increased pressure due to reduced habitat and demand for ivory and rhino horn. Rising poaching levels threaten the future of these animals.

Why does it matter?

Experts estimate that the rapid loss of species today is between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural extinction rate (the rate of species extinction if humans were not around). Unlike the mass extinction events of geological history, the current extinction challenge is one for which a single species – us humans – are responsible for. This is often referred to as the sixth extinction crisis, following the five known extinction events in geological history.

Did you know?

South Africa is home to 19 000 white rhinos and 2 000 black rhino. There are also estimated to be about 27 000 elephants.

Photo Credit: Martin Harvey


The WWF Nedbank Green Trust currently funds projects that focus on species of special concern. Species of special concern are those habitat modifiers that help to ensure the long-term survival and health of many threatened habitats and their associated species. These creatures symbolise key global threats to biodiversity and are crucial to the health, livelihoods and economic security of local communities when used sustainably.

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