Habitat Conservation

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

Habitat Conservation 101

Every species requires a certain set of environmental conditions to be able to move around, feed and reproduce. Whether it’s in the forest, grassland, desert, tundra, or ocean, the place where each species finds the conditions it needs to live and thrive is called its habitat. 

Why Conserving Habitats Is Important

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Conservation Issue

Defenders in the Southwest

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Southwest
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Mexican Gray Wolf, Photo: Jim Clark / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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Desert, © Julia Chen
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Where We Work

Defenders is fighting for the recovery of Mexican gray wolves throughout the southwest, safeguarding wildlife and habitats along the border, and protecting the Sonoran Desert and local species.

Sonoran Pronghorn

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Sonoran Pronghorn
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Animals
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Fact Sheet
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Sonoran Pronghorn, © Mark C. Milburn
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Fact Sheet
Protection Status (Endangered Species Act): 
endangered

The Sonoran pronghorn has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1967. This listing means that they are in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their range.

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Sonoran Pronghorn
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Scientific name: Antilocapra americana sonoriensis
Height: About 3 feet at shoulders
Length: 4.3-4.8 feet from head to tail
Weight: Males 100-130 lbs.; females 75-100 lbs.
Top speed: Up to 60 miles per hour
Lifespan: 10-12 years

Sonoran Pronghoen Range Map

Black-Footed Ferret

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Black-Footed Ferret
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Animals
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Fact Sheet

Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, these masked mammals are making a comeback, with approximately 750 black-footed ferrets in the wild.

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Black Footed Ferret, Photo: U.S. Geological Survey
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Black Footed Ferret, © Mike Lockhart
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Fact Sheet
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Protection Status (Endangered Species Act): 
endangered

Almost all populations of black-footed ferrets except those listed as non-essential experimental populations are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, meaning they are in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Protection Status (IUCN Red List): 
endangered

The black-footed ferret is listed as endangered, meaning it is considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

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Height: 6 inches
Length: 18-24 inches (including a 5-6 inch tail)
Weight: 1.5-2.5 lbs; males slightly larger than females
Lifespan: 3-4 years in the wild; 8-9 years in captivity

Black-footed ferrets were once found on black-tailed prairie dog colonies across the Great Plains from southern Canada to northern Mexico, and on white-tailed and Gunnison’s prairie dog colonies across the intermountain west. By 1986 they were completely gone from the wild. Today, they have been reintroduced to 15 locations within their former range in Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Kansas and Chihuahua, Mexico (2008).

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