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Defenders of Wildlife is a nonprofit conservation organization focused on saving imperiled wildlife and wild places. Defenders has long been a leader in developing innovative techniques for protecting endangered species such as wolves, polar bears, sea otters, and big cats.


Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit wildlife conservation organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of all native wildlife in their natural communities.


Defenders of Wildlife employs education, litigation, research, legislation and advocacy to defend wildlife and its habitat. In each program area, an interdisciplinary team of scientists, attorneys, wildlife specialists, and educators works to promote multi-faceted solutions to wildlife problems. Defenders protects all native species, including predators that are all-important indicators of a balanced natural environment, while promoting conservation of entire ecosystems and interconnected habitats. Defenders is proud of a long list of accomplishments over the last 60 years, from our key role in enacting the remarkably successful Endangered Species Act to the historic reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park.


Championing the Endangered Species Act and leading efforts to enforce and protect this landmark law.

Returning the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park and restoring the swift fox and black-footed ferret to Montana prairies.

Establishing the first funds to reimburse ranchers for livestock lost to wolves and grizzly bears.

Advocating the adoption of an international treaty to halt trade in rare animals and plants.

Successfully fighting to cancel the registrations on deadly and highly toxic pesticides.

Leadership and Board

Chief Executive: Rodger Schlickeisen has been President of Defenders of Wildlife since 1991. Under his leadership, Defenders has grown from 62,000 members and activists to more than 1,000,000 and is recognized as one of the nation’s prominent conservation advocacy organizations.

Prior to joining Defenders, Rodger was CEO of Craver, Mathews, Smith & Company, a leading consulting firm for progressive advocacy organizations. He also served in the Carter White House as Associate Director of the U.S. Office of Management & Budget, and as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Max Baucus.

Rodger is also President of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, a political non-profit that works to elect a pro-conservation Congress and White House, and to advance conservation programs and policies. He was the founding chair of the nonprofit Partnership Project, established to help build a more unified and potent national environmental movement. He also serves on the advisory committees of the Earth Communications Organization and the Environmental Media Association.

Rodger Schlickeisen holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a doctorate in finance from George Washington University. He is the author of numerous published opinion pieces and articles, including an influential law review article on the need for a constitutional amendment to protect the natural environment for future generations.


Victor M. Sher, Chair
Richard G. Pritzlaff, Vice Chair
Richard Kopcho, Treasurer
Adelaide P. Gomer, Secretary
Edward Asner
Dinah Bear
Peter G. Brown, Ph.D.
Jeff Corwin
Irene Crowe
Gloria E. Flora
Caroline Gabel
Eric R. Glitzenstein
Liberty Godshall
Ashley Judd
Winsome McIntosh
Ruth Musgrave
Matt Pawa
Jaime Pinkham
Ron Pulliam
George B. Rabb, Ph.D.
Rodger Sclickeisen, Ph.D., President
Laura Turner Seydel
Karin Sheldon
Lee M. Talbot, Ph.D.
Susan Wallace


Countries: United States, Mexico, Canada

States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

1130 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 682-9400

EIN: 53-0183181

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Gift Card for Defenders of Wildlife

Give the gift of a meaningful charitable donation to Defenders of Wildlife in a friend’s name, and let them choose which specific gift they most care about. Defenders of Wildlife gift cards, which they can use on this site, make it easy. Your Choice: Digital or Printed Gift Cards For the most memorable gift experience, we made it easy to personalize beautiful printed greeting cards...

Adopt A Snowy Owl

Save the Arctic Refuge

We must have everyone’s support to stop Congress from handing the home of snowy owls and other wildlife over to Big Oil, which will only result in a savings of a penny at the gas pump…and that’s in 20 years! Your gift to Adopt A Snowy Owl will help Defenders save snowy owls and other imperiled wildlife.


Adopt A Sea Otter

Prevent oil drilling

Your gift will help Defenders of Wildlife work to educate people about the need to protect sea otters, as well as help local communities and the fishing industry live in harmony with these adorable little animals. You will also enable us to continue our efforts to keep Big Oil companies from evicting sea otters from the only area they have left. Your gift to Adopt...


Save A Sea Turtle

Beach conservation

Your donation will help us work with our conservation partners to protect coastal beaches used by sea turtles as nesting sanctuaries, educate coastal home and hotel owners on how bright lights interrupt turtle nesting, as well as work to prevent international fishing conglomerates from dismantling laws that protect sea turtles from harmful fishing practices. Your gift will help Defenders save sea turtles and other imperiled...


Adopt A Jaguar

Conservation project

Defenders of Wildlife is striving to protect the northernmost jaguar population in Sonora, Mexico. We are working to secure migratory routes from northern Mexico to the southwest U.S. and to protect suitable habitat in Arizona and New Mexico. We are building support among local ranchers and property owners to pave the way for a harmonious sharing of the land with jaguars. Just as important, we...


Adopt A Wolf

Help endangered wolves

Defenders of Wildlife depends on the support of caring people like you to help us pressure the Department of Interior to ensure maximum protection for wolves in the lower 48 states and end the horrific practice of aerial gunning in Alaska. Defenders also operates the wildly successful Wolf Compensation Trust, which reimburses ranchers at fair market value for verified losses of livestock to wolves. This...


Adopt A Penguin

Alternative fuels

Your gift to Adopt A Penguin will enable Defenders of Wildlife to work with automakers and members of Congress to raise the standard fuel efficiency of cars and trucks. The burning of fossil fuels is the single most human-related cause of rising temperatures around the globe. In addition, your gift will help Defenders work to promote increased reliance on alternative fuels such as wind and...


Adopt A Tiger

Stop illegal poaching

Your gift to Adopt A Tiger today will help to battle the many threats -- including illegal logging and poaching -- to tigers and other endangered wildlife around the world.


Adopt a Polar Bear

Save the Arctic Refuge

We must have everyone’s support to stop Congress from handing the home of polar bears and other wildlife over to Big Oil, which will only result in a savings of a penny at the gas pump…and that’s in 20 years! Your gift to Adopt A Polar Bear will help Defenders save polar bears and other imperiled Arctic wildlife.