An excellent first-stop site for learning about animals and habitats under threat worldwide, and for information on related networks and direct ways you can help. The organization’s chief aims are to “improve animal welfare, prevent animal cruelty and abuse, protect wildlife and provide animal rescue around the world”. This includes working to reduce commercial exploitation and trade in wild animals, to help animals in crisis and distress, and to protect habitats for animals. For each area there are up-to-date news items and information on specific campaigns aimed at every level of animal welfare, from helping to save whales from entanglement in fishing nets to supporting local animal shelters.
The home page presents a map of the world, so you can choose a country or region; alternatively go the site map for a complete overview of all topics covered. The ‘Save Animals’ section provides information on a variety of threatened species, with a map of each species’ global distribution, its physical description, natural history, CITES status, the nature of threats it faces, and related publications. IFAW maintains an Image Library with over 10,000 images, including pictures of some of the most unique animals and habitats around the world; and a Video Library with a comprehensive, broadcast-quality video archive (available in all international formats).
The site is well-designed and easily searchable, and provides plenty of information on ways you can get involved and help IFAW in its efforts to help save species and their habitats all over the world and alleviate animal suffering. The list of endangered species, as well as the innumerable acts of cruelty to animals – whether it’s the killing of seals in Canada, or the cruel treatment of cats and dogs in South Korea, or the abhorrent trade in wild animals, or the wanton destruction of a species’ habitat – makes for depressing reading; but once armed with this knowledge there is nothing to stop you from aiding the IFAW’s cause and doing whatever you can as an individual to alleviate such suffering and help save species from extinction.