red panda David Lawson / WWF-UK

Protecting Our Planet

Take our quick quiz to see how WWF helps wildlife adapt to their changing world.

As temperatures rise, endangered red pandas in northeast India need to move to higher-elevation forests to adapt. However, human activities are taking a toll on these unprotected forests.

How is WWF helping restore this red panda habitat?

Relocating red pandas to national parks
Promoting the use of more efficient cookstoves
Planting trees
Training local communities to install solar panels

You may wonder how red pandas and cookstoves could be connected. In communities bordering red panda habitat in the Indian state of Sikkim, most households rely on firewood from the forest for cooking fuel.

To reduce the loss of trees, WWF and its Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund have trained dozens of families to make and install new cookstoves that require less fuel. The new cookstoves use less firewood, cut cooking times in half, and significantly lower indoor air pollution. A win for wildlife and people!

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Ola Jennersten / WWF-Sweden

Most of Nepal’s greater one-horned rhinos live in an area that’s susceptible to flash floods, which causes rhinos to get swept away and possibly drown. Heavy rains and flash floods are expected to become more frequent and severe because of climate change.

How is WWF helping rhinos adapt to flooding?

Building soil mounds that serve as elevated refuges
Moving rhinos to a safe place when heavy rain is in the forecast
Constructing shelters to keep rhinos dry
Installing bridges so rhinos can cross low-lying areas

In 2017, 10 rhinos were washed away in flash floods in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park. To provide a refuge for Chitwan’s vulnerable rhinos during periods of extreme flooding, WWF’s Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund helped construct a soil mound in low-lying rhino habitat close to a river that is susceptible to extreme flooding.

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saiga antelope Wild Wonders of Europe / Igor Shpilenok / WWF

Rising temperatures and reduced rainfall in southwest Russia are causing small lakes and streams to dry up during summer months, which means water can be hard to find for critically endangered saiga antelope in the safety of the wildlife refuge.

How is WWF helping saiga antelope survive?

Transporting water to the refuge by truck
Building canals to reroute water
Cloud seeding to make it rain
Restoring wells

A pilot project, supported by WWF’s Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund, aimed to make more water available for saiga antelope by restoring three artesian wells within the Stepnoi wildlife refuge.

Now, there’s more water for saiga as well as other wildlife, such as foxes and wolves. This means that saiga aren’t competing for water as much with livestock outside of the refuge.

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sea turtle hatchling Roger Leguen/WWF

Because a sea turtle’s sex is determined by the temperature at which the egg incubates, rising temperatures mean a worrying imbalance of males and females—warmer temperatures lead to more female sea turtles. One study in Australia documented a population of green sea turtles that was almost entirely female, due to warming sand temperatures.

How is WWF helping sea turtles in Colombia?

Moving eggs to beaches with cooler sand
Gathering eggs and incubating them in labs
Testing ways of artificially controlling sand temperature
Breeding sea turtles in captivity and releasing males into the wild

If you’ve ever sat under a beach umbrella on a warm day, you’ll know that shade makes a big difference. But did you know that shade could make a critical difference for olive ridley sea turtles?

WWF's Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund supported a project in Colombia to see how various methods could cool the sand. Different levels of shade cloth proved to be the most successful. Additionally, the local community increased its knowledge of climate change and sea turtle biology from the project, local children got involved in releasing sea turtle hatchlings, and the community voiced an interest in helping with the next nesting season.

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shy albatross chicks Matthew Newton/WWF-Aus

Higher temperatures and more intense rainfall can mean fewer shy albatross chicks. One reason: nests deteriorate too quickly.

How is WWF helping the only albatross that breeds in Australia?

Relocating albatross so they can breed somewhere else
Airlifting artificial nests to Albatross Island
Showing albatross how to build stronger nests
Putting shelters over nests to protect them from rain

The shy albatross lays just one egg each year, so durable nests are critical for breeding success. Specially built mudbrick and aerated concrete artificial nests were airlifted to Albatross Island in a trial program supported by WWF’s Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund.

The vulnerable birds immediately adopted their new nests, even personalizing them with mud and vegetation. Eggs were laid in 90% of them. For the artificial nests, breeding success—the proportion of chicks that survive to fledging—was more than twice as high as in the naturally built nests in the study.

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red panda Rachel Kramer / WWF-US

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