Climate Change

Shaping National Policy

Defenders of Wildlife supports a two-part national policy response to combating global warming and its impacts:
  • First, take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the root cause of climate change.
  • Second, provide the policy direction and long-term dedicated funding necessary to safeguard wildlife and ecosystems from global warming’s impacts.

Advocating for Legislation

Defenders supports enactment of the Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment (SAFE) Act, which would help reduce current and future impacts of global warming on wildlife and habitat.

Working with Policy Makers

Defenders is working on all fronts to fronts to ensure wildlife can survive and thrive until we begin to realize the benefits of reductions in global warming emissions. An effective policy response requires three main components:

  • Strong National and State Plans: Interagency science-based plans need to be developed at the federal and state levels to ensure climate change strategies are planned and enacted in a coordinated fashion.
    • The National Wildlife Climate Adaptation Strategy: A steering committee of 23 federal, state and tribal agencies has released the National, Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy  to coordinate a national response to protect the natural resources of the United States from the impacts of climate change. Defenders is a champion of this critically important strategy.
    • State Adaptation Planning: Many states are updating their state wildlife action plans and other conservation plans to incorporate climate change. Defenders is working with a number of these states to assist them in climate adaptation planning.
  • Enhanced Scientific Capacity: Management decisions must be grounded in the best available science and should build upon the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center housed at the US Geological Survey as well as other federal science programs.
  • Enhanced Funding: Climate change is imposing significant costs to already strained federal, state and tribal natural resource agency budgets. Therefore, increased funding is needed to meet the complex challenges imposed by climate change.
More on Climate Change: Preparing for Climate Change »

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Climate change poses one of the single greatest threats to wildlife and to the conservation efforts we have undertaken to date.
Fact Sheet
Known as "prairie ghosts" because they are so elusive, the Sonoran pronghorn (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis) is the fastest land mammal in North America. Smaller and lighter in color than other pronghorn subspecies, it is uniquely adapted for survival in harsh arid conditions.