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How We Work

The Endangered Species Foundation is focused on successful and sustainable projects that will avert the extinction of New Zealand’s unique indigenous biodiversity in all of its forms – from plants and fungi through to fish, insects, birds and mammals.


With the guidance of an advisory group which includes representatives from Department of Conservation, New Zealand universities and freelance professionals, the Endangered Species Foundation funds and develops results-oriented projects to support the protection of vulnerable species and biodiversity.

Our vision is that Aotearoa’s unique natural heritage is valued, cared for, and sustained by us all. 

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Sustainable funding


One of the greatest challenges facing conservation efforts worldwide is access to reliable, sustainable sources of funding – particularly for projects with less public appeal. All too often, promising efforts have been hampered when just as things start to improve, the funding dries up.

The Foundation is changing this, by aiming to provide sustainable financial support through an endowment fund, which can provide income well into the future. We are also developing biodiversity projects to engage and education communities around Aotearoa about the difference they can make in their local rohe / area. 

Sponsors and benefactors can contribute to the endowment fund, or can direct their support to specific projects. 

Funding based on science

With the guidance of our advisory group, we support evidence-based research and the implementation of conservation efforts targeted at at-risk species and habitats. The funding may also be used to develop conservation tools which will assist communities and those working in the field.

Strategic documents


Read about our strategy, the Board Charter, and our Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives.

The Endangered Species Foundation aims to work at the frontline, supporting research and the creation of tools, to ensure targeted intervention gets to those who need it most. 

Why we need your help

Early conservation efforts in New Zealand involved the creation of legal reserves, some of which were sanctuary islands free from exotic predators where species could be moved to. By working towards controlling the numbers of exotic species, and providing additional help to the species close to becoming extinct, dedicated conservation programmes such as those started for kakapo, black robin, saddleback, kiwi and the kokako have proved extremely successful.

Today, New Zealand is viewed as a world leader in the conservation of endangered species. Many techniques (such as translocations and eradication of pests from islands) were first used in New Zealand, and we continue to be at the forefront of new advances. In fact, our track record is such that no species under a conservation programme New Zealand has become extinct (and very few worldwide).

Despite the success of these programmes, the Department of Conservation is only able to actively manage 25% of species that are at a high-risk.

The majority of endangered species are not part of any formal conservation programme.

Help resource conservation programmes to save our endangered species and improve our biodiversity.

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