The Defenders of Wildlife understands that in order to save a single wolf, one has to save the land that it lives on; the prey that it hunts; and even the resources that its prey consumes. In short, in order to protect a species one has to protect an entire ecosystem. The Defenders of Wildlife was founded in 1947 with the goal of protecting endangered species, but they have since expanded their work to fighting for native wildlife and habitat conservation, climate change, off-shore drilling, and renewable energy.
The Defenders of Wildlife focus specifically on the protection of predator and carnivore species because they recognize that predators serve as an indicator species for the ecosystem as a whole. If the top species in a habitat are endangered, then it’s likely that the rest of the system is in trouble as well. The group actively works to protect species such as wolves, bears, condors, the Florida Panther, and polar bears; they protect these species through political intervention, fundraising, and lobbying. The Defenders of Wildlife also have a sister organization, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, that works directly on strengthening conservation policies through lobbying and political action.
The Defenders of Wildlife know that it takes a lot to protect wildlife, but they’re willing to put in the work to save much more than a single wolf.