Defenders in California

Key Accomplishments

  • In 2006, Defenders of Wildlife worked with California lawmakers to pass legislation that would establish the California Sea Otter Fund for sea otter research through a voluntary tax donation check-off box on the state tax forms. Since then, the fund has raised more than $1.4 million. In 2011, we led the charge that extended the program for five more years, with media appearances, expert testimony, and action alerts that generated tens of thousands of messages from our supporters.
  • In 2011, Defenders successfully conducted an aggressive anti-shark finning campaign that increased awareness of the issue and resulted in almost 18,000 messages being sent to state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown. This effort paid off when Governor Brown signed AB576 into law, a bill that prohibits the possession or trade of shark fins in California.
  • Since 2006 and continuing into 2012, Defenders continued its push to list the Mohave ground squirrel under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We filed Freedom of Information Act requests to the federal Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for agency documents that contain crucial information about projects on public lands that would threaten this already at-risk species. Once armed with this additional information, Defenders will consider challenging the recent FWS decision that the Mohave ground squirrel does not warrant federal protection under the ESA.
  • From 2009 to present, Defenders has provided science-based conservation recommendations on dozens of proposed solar and wind energy projects throughout California and southern Nevada. Through administrative and legal actions taken against agencies and project developers, we have helped reduce the impacts of several projects on wildlife and prevented several projects that would have had major negative impacts for wildlife.
  • In 2010, Defenders of Wildlife partnered with the Yolo County Resource Conservation District and California Audubon on a proposal to the Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Water Enhancement Program. The proposal awarded $3.75 million for conservation practices to improve water quality and wildlife habitat on private rangelands.
More on Defenders in California: Meet Our California Team »

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Fact Sheet
The swift fox is a small fox around the size of a domestic house cat and found in the western grasslands of North America, such as Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
Habitat Conservation
Defenders of Wildlife is working to protect and strengthen the National Wildlife Refuge System, the only system of federal lands in the United States dedicated to wildlife conservation.
Policy
Eighty percent of threatened and endangered species rely on privately owned land for their habitat needs and in the U.S. most of our private land is managed by farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.