Defenders of Wildlife envisions a future where diverse wildlife populations in North America are secure and thriving, sustained by a network of healthy lands and waters. We focus our programs on what scientists consider the two most serious environmental threats to our planet: the accelerating rate of species extinction and associated loss of biological diversity and the alteration and destruction of habitat.
Founded in 1947, Defenders’ distinguished record of conservation leadership includes helping ensure final passage of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973. Our current priorities include conserving wildlife on public and private lands, including top predators that maintain biodiversity; protecting the ESA and other important wildlife conservation laws from political attack; supporting policies and practices that help wildlife adapt to climate change; and advocating for responsible renewable energy development on public and private lands. Based in Washington, D.C., Defenders has field staff in 13 states, a consultant in Mexico and a network of more than 1.8 million members and activists working together to protect wildlife and habitat.
Defenders’ approach is direct and straightforward – We protect and restore imperiled species throughout North America by transforming policies and institutions and by promoting innovative solutions. We speak with one voice informed by scientific, legal and policy expertise, hands-on wildlife management experience and effective advocacy.
Our team has the experience and knowledge to engage in any arena to protect wildlife—Congress, the courts, federal and state agencies, academia and public debate—and does so tirelessly and effectively. Our field offices give us a grounding in the ecosystems and communities where we work, allowing us to engage the public, build support for conservation and develop practical solutions that will stand the test of time. Fueled by the commitment of our members, partners and supporters, we are building a powerful, enduring voice for wildlife conservation.