Our Approach

When wildlife is in danger, they can't speak up for themselves—so we speak for them. Defenders of Wildlife deploys a wide range of tools and tactics, from policy analyses and advocacy, to litigation, innovative science and technology programs and field conservation. Every Defenders program aligns with or contributes to at least one of three broad imperatives:

  • Prevent species and their habitats from becoming imperiled.
  • Protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats.
  • Restore the health of vulnerable species and their habitats.

On the Ground

We work on the ground at the state, tribal and local level developing practical, innovative programs that protect and restore imperiled species and their habitats.

On the Hill

We engage actively on Capitol Hill to defend wildlife and wild places from legislative attacks and secure new wildlife conservation initiatives.

In the Courts

We have been at the forefront of wildlife and natural resource litigation and policy since the organization's inception in 1947.

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What We Do

Conserving Imperiled Species

Our conservation efforts are targeted at the full range of vulnerable North American biodiversity.

Advocating for International Species

Defenders' work doesn't stop at the border.

Protecting Habitat

We are protecting habitats that represent some of the last, best places for wildlife to thrive.

Promoting Coexistence

We successfully limit negative interactions between humans and wildlife in communities across the country.

Defending Conservation Laws

Defenders works to ensure that conservation laws can continue to prevent extinctions and promote imperiled species’ recovery.

Innovating for Wildlife Conservation

In the Center for Conservation Innovation, we focus on improving conservation using science, technology and policy.

Combating Climate Change

We are working to address the impacts of climate change and advocate for adaptation.

Our Work & Impact

public comments to stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to roll back red wolf protections and helped garner the North Carolina governor’s support for red wolf recovery.
volunteer scientists documenting wolverines, fishers, lynxes and—for the first time—wolverine kits in the Bitterroot National Forest in the 4th year of our Wolverine Watchers program.
scientists signed a Defenders testimonial that a U.S.-Mexico border wall would devastate the borderlands ecosystem—home to ocelots, Mexican gray wolves, butterflies and ferruginous pygmy owls.

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