In the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife, we focus on improving wildlife conservation in the U.S. using a unique combination of science, technology and policy. We are pioneering innovative, pragmatic solutions to create the next generation of wildlife policies and practices.

Our approach is essential in an age of increasing threats to wildlife and static or dwindling resources for conservation. Because of this, we are identifying current and emerging conservation challenges, developing solutions that improve outcomes and use a suite of techniques and partnerships to advocate for solutions that make a difference.

Defenders' Impact

The Center for Conservation Innovation works across Defenders as well as with collaborators and scientists in government, academia, the private sector and other non-profit organizations to integrate science into decision-making. We stay abreast of new science happening elsewhere and lead cutting-edge research, such as completing the first-ever analysis of section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the first evaluation of how climate change is addressed in endangered species recovery plans.

We apply and develop new technologies used by conservation practitioners across the country. One set of technologies ensures simple, public access to essential data on implementing conservation laws like the Endangered Species Act. And we’re developing a new suite of applications for conservationists, such as a habitat change detection tool that allows us to monitor land use in critical habitats.

We combine science, technology and creativity to evaluate, imagine and shape new policies that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of conservation. This includes making data-based recommendations on funding needs for the Endangered Species Act, serving on the policy task force of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and critically assessing proposed policies, such as for evaluating how pesticides affect imperiled species and advocating for improvements to advance conservation. 

Visit the Center for Conservation Innovation website to check out storymaps, publications, events and more.

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News

Washington, DC

Finding Refuge: Endangered Species and the National Wildlife Refuge System

Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association used hundreds of federal documents and data to develop an up-to-date list of species found on the National Wildlife Refuge System. In a new report, they found that 513 ESA-listed species—nearly one-third of all U.S.-listed species—are found on (or depend on) at least 444 of the 568 wildlife refuges.

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