Living with Wildlife
Florida Panther,  © SuperStock
Grizzly Bear, © Ray Rafiti

Living with Wildlife 101

Americans are fortunate to have an enormous diversity of wildlife sharing the land, water, and sky with us.

But as people have moved into undeveloped areas and climate change has caused wildlife habitat to shift, conflicts with wild animals have also increased, often resulting in the death of the animals. Many of these species play a critical role in creating healthier ecosystems that benefit us all, so finding effective solutions to prevent and respond to these conflicts is essential.

Hear from regional experts about the tools that Defenders is using to help people and wildlife coexist:

What Defenders Is Doing to Help People and Wildlife Coexist

For decades, Defenders of Wildlife has been a leader in working with lawmakers, conservation professionals, local communities, and private landowners to develop innovative and effective methods for minimizing these conflicts.

  • We are a leader in helping ranchers implement proven, nonlethal solutions to prevent attacks on livestock, such as using range riders to patrol for wolves and electric fencing to keep grizzlies out of small pastures, chicken coops and beeyards.
  • We also provide resources to communities to help minimize conflicts—for example, providing bear-resistant trash cans and educating people on how to deal with wildlife encounters.
  • And we work very closely with federal and state legislators and agency officials to help shape laws, policies, and programs that affect wildlife, like the innovative wolf coexistence plan passed in Oregon in 2011, and research on calf predation by Florida panthers.
More on Living with Wildlife: Types of Conflicts »

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Where We Work
Our Southwest team works to protect rare and threatened species like Mexican wolves, jaguars and ocelots.
Defenders in Action
Bears die when they get into trouble with people’s garbage, livestock, when they are hit by cars and trains or illegally killed. By preventing these conflicts we can keep bears alive and on the road to recovery.
Gray Wolf, © Dawn Hammond
Fact Sheet
The wolf is the largest member of the canine family. Gray wolves range in color from grizzled gray or black to all-white. As the ancestor of the domestic dog, the gray wolf resembles German shepherds or malamutes.