05/13/2015 05:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

WWF #EndangeredEmoji Uses Cuteness For A Cause To Protect The World's Wildlife

An emoji tells a thousand words. But some of those cute little icons tell a story much bigger than our weekend plans or what we ate for lunch.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is using a group of emojis for a fundraising campaign called #EndangeredEmoji to help endangered creatures and their homes. The campaign highlights 17 animal icons found on the current iOS and Android emojis keyboards that in the real world are, in fact, endangered species.

Among these are the popular three wise monkeys which, according to WWF, are actually spider monkeys -- as well as the giant panda, blue whale and lemur leaf frog.

endangered emoji

The campaign launched on Tuesday, with WWF tweeting out an image of all the 17 characters. Twitter users can take part in the initiative by simply retweeting the post. For every endangered emoji the participant then tweets, WWF will add 0.10 euros (about 11 cents) to a voluntary donation account.

At the end of each month, the participant receives a tally of all the endangered emojis they used, and can either donate that total or an amount of their choosing.

WWF illustrates each of these animals on the campaign’s website, providing a short description of each species threats and why it is in trouble.

To learn more about how #EndangeredEmoji works, watch the video above.

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