International Conservation

Additional Priorities

Sea Turtles

Through education, outreach, legal reform, and direct support for on-the-ground conservation programs, Defenders is working to enhance the conservation of six of the world's seven endangered species of sea turtles that nest in Mexico. We have succeeded in getting new regulations adopted to protect sea turtle nesting sites from disruption by light sources, vegetation removal, dune destruction and mishandling of nests and newborn sea turtles.

Visit our Species at Risk: Sea Turtles page for more information about what we’re doing to help sea turtles.

Whales

Despite a moratorium on commercial whaling that began in the 1980s, every year some countries try to overturn the moratorium and remove international protections for whales.  Defenders continues to fight these attempts through our work with international treaties.

Another major threat to whales accidental trapping in fishing gear.  In 2007, Defenders was successful in getting drift nets and surface nets banned in the shark fishery in Mexico.

Visit our Species at Risk: Cook Inlet Beluga Whale and Species at Risk: North Atlantic Right Whale pages for more information about what we’re doing to help these particular species.

Mangrove Forests

Mangroves are a very important coastal ecosystem that supports many endangered species like sea turtles, manatees, parrots and many types of fish. They also support 70% of all commercial fisheries serving as breeding, refuge and feeding sites—for example the shrimp fishery. Defenders has been instrumental in getting landmark legislation adopted in Mexico to protect mangroves from tourist and industrial developments, shrimp farms and other threats.

Birds

Migratory birds face many threats during their migration as a result of habitat destruction and pollution. In Mexico, wild birds are still being trapped for the pet trade and, in some parts, are still hunted for food. Defenders of Wildlife has launched a campaign to promote birdwatching to encourage bird conservation. We are working alongside environmental and tourism authorities and helping produce bird guides to help state and local governments and local conservation groups promote birdwatching in their areas. Our goal is to change the way Mexicans perceive birds and put an end to bird trapping for the pet trade.

More on International Conservation: Meet Our International Conservation Team »

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Scarlet macaw, © Maria Elena Sanchez
Success Story
July 2014 - After being wiped out from the region more than 50 years ago, scarlet macaws are once again flying free in the Gulf of Mexico!
Military macaw, © Maria Elena Sanchez
Success Story
June 2014 - Thanks to our monitoring program, dozens of Mexico's endangered military macaws were saved from poachers this year!
Scarlet macaw, © Maria Elena Sanchez
In the Magazine
Illegal Trading Thwarted — Defenders ends misleading ad campaign in Mexico