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Defenders of Wildlife

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Preservation & Protection, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: Defenders of Wildlife is a solution-oriented organization dedicated to saving rare animals and plants, conserving habitat, and building a broad constituency for protecting wildlife and wild places. We harness the skills and expertise of more than 100 scientists, wildlife specialists, educators, activists, economists, and attorneys to work in the halls of Congress, state legislatures, the courts, local communities, and more than a dozen offices in North America. We develop and encourage conservation of entire ecosystems and interconnected habitats while protecting predators that serve as indicator species for ecosystem health. Through this multi-pronged approach of education, advocacy, research and litigation, we specifically work to protect native animals and plants, restore and preserve habitat, and advocate for conservation legislation.

Geographic areas served: North America

Programs: Defenders of Wildlife's operating programs include: (1) Species Conservation, including restoration/protection of wolves and bears in their natural habitat and wild bird conservation; (2) Legal actions and Endangered Species Act reauthorization; (3) Habitat Conservation, including the Habitat for Bears Campaign, Alaska wolf protection and forestry issues; and (4) Oregon Biodiversity Project, a state conservation effort through public education and joint activism joined with the development of technological instruments to survey state biodiversity.

Community Story


Board Member

Rating: 5

As a wildlife biologist, television host, producer, lifelong naturalist, and someone who has been working for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems around the world for nearly three decades, I am proud to serve on Defenders of Wildlife’s board.

I’ve partnered with Defenders, as their ambassador of climate change and endangered species, to appeal to the public about the impact of climate change on wildlife. I’ve also testified on their behalf to urge lawmakers to ensure that comprehensive climate and energy legislation addresses carbon pollution, and deals with the effects of rising temperatures on wildlife and habitats.
Throughout my career, I have had many exhilarating and challenging experiences: from tracking Kodiak bears and being nearly trampled by moose in Alaska, to releasing a California condor back into the wild after its struggle to recover from lead poisoning. However, I worry deeply about what kind of world awaits my two young daughters if we fail to address the current threats to America’s wildlife and wild places. I am proud to support an organization that is dedicated to ensuring our spectacular wild animals and habitats will be here for the next generation.

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