#MapMonday: Defending Our Nation's Wildlife

Mae and Lindsay walk through our story map that explains who we are as Defenders of Wildlife. You’ll hear from all of our field directors about their conservation priorities and how their teams are meeting the threats of the current biodiversity and climate crises. You can check out the story map here.

Click to view video transcript

Mae: Hey there! And welcome to our last Map Monday of the year. Our Nation’s wildlife have faced unprecedented attacks this year, and need defending now more than ever.

Lindsay: But thanks to the hard work of our field teams, scientists, policy experts and lawyers, and the dedication of conservationists like you, Defenders has made important progress forward for the species we all love.

We created this story map to showcase the wide range of tools and tactics, from policy advocacy and litigation to innovative science programs and field conservation that Defenders is using to defend wildlife across the country and the habitats they need to survive.

Mae: Though headquartered in Washington, D.C., Defenders has staff in six main field offices and other satellite locations throughout the United States to protect the diversity of species and habitats found throughout North America. Working from the local level, we are focused on grassroots engagement, mobilizing a broader constituency for wildlife conservation, and developing innovative on-the-ground projects that keep wildlife safe.

Let’s take it over to our field program directors across the country to learn more!

Pam: From Sacramento, Marin, Monterey, the Mojave Desert and the North Coast, Defenders’ California team is working to save wildlife statewide. We are promoting responsible renewable energy siting to protect the critically endangered desert tortoise and to mitigate for climate change.

We are also working to ensure that aquatic ecosystems have sufficient clean water for species like salmon and giant garter snake, and we’re promoting coexistence with gray wolves as they make their way back to their historical territory here in the Golden State.

Ben: Throughout the Southeast region in Florida and the Carolinas, Defenders’ staff are working to protect, connect, and restore wildlife habitats across the region for terrestrial wildlife like the Florida panther as well as aquatic species like the hellbender salamander.

We are leading the charge to bring the endangered red wolf back from the brink of extinction and pushing for the protection and restoration of other imperiled species including the Florida manatee, sea turtles, bats and migratory shorebirds like the red knot.

Nicole: Defenders’ staff in our Anchorage office are striving to protect Alaska’s iconic wilderness and the vibrant wildlife that call it home. Working directly with Alaska native communities, agencies, and other key groups, we are promoting coexistence with large predators, including polar bears, and protecting key ecosystems from the threats of climate change, unsustainable development and unsound wildlife and habitat policies and management practices.

Bryan: Defenders’ staff in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are fighting the construction of the border wall to protect species like the ocelot, the Mexican gray wolf, the Sonoran pronghorn and the ferruginous pygmy owl. We are advocating for land use policies and special designations to protect habitats and vital movement corridors for imperiled species like these.

We are also engaged in renewable energy siting in the region to ensure that development and transmission won’t harm wildlife as we continue in the fight against climate change.

Kathleen: Defenders’ Northwest team in Washington and Oregon are stepping up to protect imperiled species and their critical habitat in this important region where temperate rainforests touch the Salish sea and wild lands are plentiful in the Cascade mountains and remote northeast.

Our priorities include saving dwindling populations of Southern resident orca and their Chinook salmon prey from extinction through science-led policy, advocacy and decision-maker outreach.

We also work to develop and implement conservation initiatives to help transform conflict between humans and top predators, like wolves and grizzlies, to tolerant and thriving coexistence.

With an eye on climate change and its far-reaching impacts, we advocate for sustainable, forward-looking forestry practices and policies in the face of drought and uncharacteristic wildfire and not just for wildlife, but for generations to come.

Jonathan: Defenders’ staff in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming work to protect and restore the most imperiled wildlife of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains.

We work with tribal, public and private stakeholders to restore bison, wolves, black-footed ferrets, swift fox, and beaver to more places…

Mae Lacey
Previous Conservation GIS Analyst

As the previous Conservation GIS Analyst in the Center for Conservation Innovation, Mae provided support and leadership for geospatial product development across Defenders.