International Conservation
Reef Shark, © Ed Gullekson

A Special Focus on Mexico

Most of the U.S. migratory species stay or pass through Mexico at some point in their lives.

For example, the Grey whale feeds during summer months near Alaska and reproduces during winter months in the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. If it was only protected while in US waters this species would have disappeared long ago. But this species is protected by the International Whaling Commission moratorium on whaling, by CITES through its Appendix I list that prohibits international trade and by Mexican environmental laws.

Of the nearly 800 species of birds known to occur in the US, around 500 are migratory, most of which migrate to the Caribbean and Latin America. Of these, 225 species migrate in Mexico with 75 of them wintering no farther south. Many of these birds are classified as threatened or endangered and face numerous threats while migrating. Defenders International team makes sure that protections remain in place for birds as well as sea turtles, sharks and many other migratory species by working with lawmakers, environmental leaders and fishery authorities in Mexico.

More on International Conservation: The Perils of the International Wildlife Trade »

You may also be interested in:

Sea Turtle, © Christina Albright-Mundy
Success Stories
April, 2013: Thanks to new regulations that Defenders proposed and worked hard to promote, Mexico is protecting vital sea turtle nesting habitat.
scalloped hammerhead, © Terry Goss 2008/Marine Photobank
Success Story
September 2014 - Five species of shark and two species of manta ray have officially gained international protection!
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!