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Photo Credit: Billy Dodson via AWF

For those who often read about the state of wildlife today, the narrative isn’t always a happy one—in fact, more often than not it’s just the opposite.

In case anyone isn’t familiar with the current story, let me provide a quick table of contents:

Chapter 1: Great Apes – The IUCN lists all four of Africa’s great ape species as either endangered or critically endangered, with illegal trafficking robbing the continent of an estimated 3,000 great apes each year.

Chapter 2: Lions – The king of the jungle may soon be dethroned; current rates of population decline indicate Africa’s most iconic big cat could be driven to extinction by 2050.

Chapter 3: Elephants and Rhinos – As demand for ivory and rhino horn persists, fueling a poaching crisis, we could also see elephants and rhinos go extinct within our lifetime.

It goes on and on like this. According to the IUCN, extinction is a real threat for over 23,000 of the world’s species.

A Welcome Plot Twist

While the current story certainly makes for grim reading, its ending is far from etched into stone. Now, AWF is teaming up with the visual storytelling platform Steller, in the hopes that we can write a new conservation story—one of which we can all be proud.

To succeed, we’ll need your help. Starting January 11, we’re asking all supporters of conservation to take to social media, and join our #ConservationStory campaign. By adding your voice to the call for conservation, you’ll help us elevate the conversation, and raise awareness around the globe about the need to protect our wildlife and wild lands.

Toward a Better Ending

Ready to get started? Here’s how you can participate in the campaign:

Share the stories you love: Throughout the world, Steller users are authoring their own stories about what conservation means to them and why it’s important. Help us amplify their message by sharing their stories on social media using #ConservationStory in your posts.

Put pen to paper (so to speak): Maybe you have a story of your own that you’d like to share—that’s great, do it! Just download the Steller app and you’re on your way. Not sure how to get started? Here’s a handy how-to guideto point you in the right direction.

Recruit more conservation authors: We’re sure you know others who care about conservation too, and we need them to help us write our ideal ending! Share our Steller story introducing the campaign, encouraging readers to get involved.

Together, we can make 2016 a big year for wildlife—the year we give our collective conservation story a happy ending.

(This article originally appeared on AWF. It has been reprinted here with permission.)

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