reef_shark_credit_ed_gullekson
© Ed Gullekson

Advocating for International Species

Overview

Throughout our country’s history, many of our iconic, native species – from the American alligator to the North American river otter – have had brushes with extinction due to demand for their fur, skin, feathers, or other features. When wildlife is viewed as little more than a commodity and its trade goes unchecked, species can disappear forever.

The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth $7-23 billion, making it the fourth largest illegal trade by dollar value, after drugs, guns, and humans. The United States is one of the largest consumers of both legal and illegal wildlife in the world, and the role we can play in preventing this exploitation and combatting wildlife trafficking is crucial. At Defenders of Wildlife, we cherish all wildlife and recognize the need for our leadership in this fight.

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In the Magazine
Once every three years, representatives gather from the 175 nations that have signed on to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Scarlet macaw, © Maria Elena Sanchez
In the Magazine
Illegal Trading Thwarted — Defenders ends misleading ad campaign in Mexico
In the Magazine
For the second year in a row, Defenders and our conservation partners stepped up to help save hundreds of prairie dogs at the edge of Thunder Basin National Grassland in eastern Wyoming.