© Julie Chen

Defenders in the Southwest

Defenders in the Southwest

The Southwest encompasses the southern Rocky Mountains, the Sky Islands of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico, international borderlands, the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts as well as the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers. The Southwest boasts a spectacular variety of wildlife and plants within its diverse landscapes. 

What Defenders Is Doing to Help Wildlife in the Southwest

  • Working to recover jaguars and ocelots in southern Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northern Sonora, Mexico.

  • Southwest Program OfficesAdvocating for land-use policies and special designations to protect habitats and vital corridors for a wide range of species.

  • Working with policy-makers, scientists, land managers, and ranchers to find science-based solutions that help endangered Mexican gray wolves recover and thrive.

  • Promoting proven coexistence techniques that reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock and playing a lead role on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Mexican Wolf-Livestock Council.

  • Working with tribal livestock associations to reduce conflicts with wolves, and with tribal businesses to create economic opportunities tied to wolf recovery.

  • Collaborating as part of the Arizona Solar Working Group with alternative energy companies and public agencies to ensure solar, wind, and transmission projects in the region are prevented in ecologically sensitive or pristine landscapes, and minimizing negative effects on public lands and wildlife where development occurs.

  • Working with diverse stakeholders to identify and prevent harm to wildlife and habitat caused by the border wall and other associated infrastructure along the U.S.—Mexico border.

  • Protecting scarce Southwestern water supplies and the imperiled species that depend on them.

  • Partnering with local groups to prevent open-pit mines that would destroy critical habitat for jaguars, western yellow-billed cuckoo and other imperiled species.

Meet Our Team 

Bryan Bird

Michael Dax
Representative New Mexico

Laura Eaton
Southwest Program Coordinator

Craig Miller
Senior Representative Arizona

Rob Peters
Senior Representative Arizona

Paul Sanchez-Navarro
Senior Representative Texas

Shari Wilcox
Texas Representative

Contact Us 

New Mexico

210 Montezuma Avenue
Suite 210
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: (505) 395-7330

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In the Magazine
When it comes to endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest every one counts—and so do partnerships.
In the Magazine
Last year saw a record-high 17 deaths of the endangered big cats on Florida roadways—with one of these still under investigation. In 2008, 10 panthers were killed by vehicles.
In the Magazine
For the second year in a row, Defenders and our conservation partners stepped up to help save hundreds of prairie dogs at the edge of Thunder Basin National Grassland in eastern Wyoming.