reef_shark_credit_ed_gullekson
© Ed Gullekson

Advocating for International Species

Overview

Throughout our country’s history, many of our iconic, native species – from the American alligator to the North American river otter – have had brushes with extinction due to demand for their fur, skin, feathers, or other features. When wildlife is viewed as little more than a commodity and its trade goes unchecked, species can disappear forever.

The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth $7-23 billion, making it the fourth largest illegal trade by dollar value, after drugs, guns, and humans. The United States is one of the largest consumers of both legal and illegal wildlife in the world, and the role we can play in preventing this exploitation and combatting wildlife trafficking is crucial. At Defenders of Wildlife, we cherish all wildlife and recognize the need for our leadership in this fight.

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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.
Photo credit: ©Fotohansel/Adobe
In the Magazine
When George Pakenham spotted a passenger-less stretch limo outside a Manhattan restaurant with its engine running, he decided he’d had enough and approached the driver to ask him to turn off the engine while waiting.
In the Magazine
In the back room, endangered pangolins—scaly, armored mammals native to Southeast Asia and parts of Africa—were being "processed." The armadillo-like animals were skinned; their valuable scales removed; organs, blood and fetuses separated out; and the remaining meat boiled.