Habitat Conservation

When habitats are threatened, so are the animals who live there.

Feeling the Impacts of the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

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Pelican, AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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On the Blog

Three years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster that coated the Gulf in millions of gallons of oil, ecosystems on land and at sea are still feeling the effects. Now, with new funds available for restoration, the question becomes: where to start?

Coming Ashore

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The rising moon is at first mistaken for a ship’s light on the horizon, but there is no mistaking the solitary 300-pound sea turtle perched unevenly on a sand dune. Using her flippers to fling dirt several feet backward, this loggerhead is “pitting”— digging a nest—on a protected beach at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge on the central Atlantic Coast of Florida. Named for the renowned biologist who first alerted the world to the plight of sea turtles in the 1950s, and the only national wildlife refuge in the country designated specifically to protect sea turtles’ nesting habitat, this refuge attracts more nesting—and federally threatened—loggerheads than any other place in the Western Hemisphere. More endangered green sea turtles lay their eggs here than any other place in the United States, and, to a lesser degree, endangered leatherbacks also nest on these shores. In fact, these dunes lured nearly 19,000 nesting loggerheads last year, a recent record high. But these numbers are nowhere near historic levels, and the species—just like the green and leatherback—is still in trouble. Only about one in every 1,000 hatchlings lives to adulthood.

Spring 2013

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Volume 88, Issue 2
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Sea turtle, © Masa Ushioda / seapics.com
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Defenders Magazine
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Wrong Move for Right Whales

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A pending decision on fishing for cod and other groundfish in New England has big implications for marine mammals, including some of the most endangered animals in our waters, the North Atlantic right whale.

TrekWest – A Coalition’s Campaign for Connectivity

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On the Blog

Border fences, highways, mining projects - there are many things in the southwest that can impact wildlife habitat. Our Southwest office is part of a coalition working to keep habitats connected for jaguars, foxes, roadrunners and other wildlife.

Sally Jewell Confirmed as Next Secretary of the Interior

Washington, D.C. (April 10, 2013) — Secretary of the Interior Nominee Sally Jewell has been successfully confirmed this evening by an 87-11 Senate vote. Below is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark.

President’s Budget Works for Wildlife

Washington, D.C. (April 10, 2013) —Today the Obama administration released its 2014 budget plan, which provides vital funding for Department of the Interior wildlife conservation programs.

The following is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark:

Wilderness Today, Wine Country Tomorrow?

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Photo: EyeLiam/Flickr
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On the Blog

As the climate changes, the best land to produce grapes for wine is shifting - right into vital wildlife habitat.

Chugach National Forest: Shaped by Rock, Ice and the Ocean

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Humans and wildlife alike rely on Alaska's Chugach National Forest, so we're working with the U.S. Forest Service to determine how climate change will impact this 7-million-acre network of ecosystems.

Coal Mining Drives Decline of Freshwater Fish

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In the southeast U.S., coal mines are putting the nation's most diverse populations of freshwater fish and mussels at risk.

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