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Endangered Species Conservation

A monarch nectars on pink and white milkweed blossoms in this very detailed close-up image.
(Photo: Xerces Society / Stephanie McKnight)

Invertebrates form the foundation of many of our terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and yet they are greatly underappreciated in mainstream conservation. Destruction of habitat, pesticides, disease, and climate change are all factors leading to the decline of invertebrate species. To conserve and restore the diversity of life on earth, the Xerces Society’s endangered species conservation program engages in education, research, community science (sometimes referred to as "citizen science," or "participatory science"), conservation planning, and advocacy to protect at-risk species and their habitats. We collaborate with scientists and land managers to raise awareness about the plight of invertebrates and to gain protection for the most vulnerable species before they decline to a level at which recovery is impossible.


Our Work

Learn more about the key species that we're working to protect and recover:


Learn More

Community Science

Everyone is welcome to join these collaborative data-gathering efforts—no technical expertise necessary!

At-Risk Invertebrates

Learn more about the conservation statuses of the animals we seek to protect.

Identification and Field Guides

View guides for identification and further study in the field.

What We're Doing

We're conducting field research, developing habitat management guidance, advocating for protection for key species, and more.

Endangered Species Conservation on the Blog

The latest news from the Xerces Society's endangered species conservation team—including updates from the field, policy work, opportunities to participate in community science, and more!

The Superior Court of Sacramento County recently sided with agricultural groups and determined that the State of California does not have the legal authority to protect insects under the California Endangered Species Act, effectively excluding a huge proportion of animal diversity from a law that was enacted to broadly protect the state’s wildlife.

California is poised to restrict the use of neonicotinoids—some of the most pollinator-toxic insecticides in use. Yet, a closer look at the narrow proposal, which focuses solely on managed pollinators, casts doubt on the value of the proposed regulations. In response, the Xerces Society is asking the state to take into account the significant risks these chemicals also pose to bumble bees, monarch butterflies, and other beneficial insects at risk of extinction.

Xerces Society work to involve community scientists in tracking bumble bees have resulted in many thousands of people submitting nearly 75,000 observations. Together, this sheds light on bumble bee populations, where they are thriving, and on which plants they are foraging -- and informs conservation and protection efforts.