What We Do to Protect Endangered Species

Polar bear cub kissing mom

America harbors a remarkable array of plant and animal species, ranging from majestic mammals like bison and grizzly bears to tiny desert wildflowers.

Unfortunately, many of our species have not fared well over the past few decades suffering from things such as habitat loss and the spread of invasive species.

Scientists estimate that up to one-third of U.S. species are at increased risk of extinction, and more than 1,300 U.S. plants and animals already have been federally listed as threatened or endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act.

National Wildlife Federation has long has been focused on protecting the most vulnerable of our wild species.

Our Approach to Endangered Species Protection Includes:

  • Defending and strengthening the Endangered Species Act, which provides an essential legal safety net to prevent the loss of plant and animal species to extinction.

  • Holding federal agencies and others accountable for complying with laws protecting rare and endangered species using cooperation, persuasion, and--where necessary--litigation.

  • Advocating for increased funding for private landowner incentives and other conservation programs that benefit endangered species.

  • Protecting and restoring the habitats on which endangered species and other wildlife depend for their survival, and encouraging wildlife-friendly land management practices.

  • Reducing threats to wildlife that can lead to their endangerment and extinction, such as loss of habitat, contamination of water and spread of invasive species.

State Wildlife Action Plans

One of the best ways to protect endangered species is to prevent their decline and deterioration in the first place. Toward that end, National Wildlife Federation works to maintain healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plant species through promoting broad-based conservation efforts such as State Wildlife Action Plans.

Global Warming

Global warming is making the protection of endangered species increasingly challenging. Climate change not only affects our plants and animals directly--through changes in temperature and precipitation for instance--but can worsen the impact on endangered species of traditional threats, such as invasive species, wildfires and diseases.

National Wildlife Federation is playing a leadership role in identifying and promoting innovative approaches to safeguard endangered species and other wildlife in the face of a changing climate.


Read more about the Endangered Species Act >> 

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