Defenders in the Southwest

Success Stories

In 2009, Defenders settled a critical lawsuit that ended the controversial and damaging “Standard Operating Procedure 13.0.” This terrible policy forced the removal of any Mexican grey wolf suspected of killing 3 livestock in a year, regardless of the genetic importance of the individual, the presence of dependent pups, or the dire straits of the population itself.

Defenders, working in partnership with the White Mountain Apache Tribe, helped the tribe to develop the first wolf-themed eco-tour in Mexican wolf range. The first Apache Wilderness Journey took place in 2011. These Apache-led tours create a financial incentive for wolf recovery on tribal lands and showcase the Apaches’ deep connection to the landscape.

Although jaguars were first listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1997, it wasn’t until after many years of legal wrangling, and participation in collaborative planning efforts, that a court sided with Defenders in 2010 and ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a recovery plan for these extremely rare cats.

Our office has developed several innovative public events and collaborations on behalf of the iconic species of the Southwest, including Dia de los Lobos, the Jaguar Artists Group, and the Where’s El Lobo art exhibit and contest.

More on Defenders in the Southwest: Meet Our Southwest Team »

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Northern long-eared bat, © Steven Thomas/NPS
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