Where (Endangered) Wildlife Come First

Where (Endangered) Wildlife Come First

Imperiled species rely on national wildlife refuges to shelter them from underlying threats driving the global biodiversity crisis. While the awe-inspiring beauty of the refuges attracts many human visitors, the mission of the refuge system goes hand in hand with the goals of the Endangered Species Act (ESA): protect species and their habitats.

We have known about the special relationship between the ESA and refuges for decades, but unfortunately there has been no robust tally of how many threatened and endangered species are found on refuge land. So Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association teamed up to figure it out by poring over hundreds of federal documents to develop an up-to-date list of species found on or dependent on units of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

What we found is astounding: 513 ESA-listed species are found or are dependent on at least 444 refuges.

Check out our blog post to learn more!

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Lindsay Rosa
Conservation GIS Scientist

As a Conservaion GIS Scientist with the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders, Lindsay leads geospatial analysis projects to improve conservation policies and practices.