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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 World Wildlife Fund–Mexico announced yesterday results of the annual survey of monarch butterflies overwintering in central Mexico. The butterflies occupied an estimated 2.1 hectares of forest during the winter of 2020–21. This was a reduction of approximately 26% compared to the previous winter, when monarchs occupied 2.83 hectares. Scientists estimate that 6 hectares are necessary to sustain the population.

 

Old-growth forests are not exactly the habitat that comes to mind when you think of butterflies, but Johnson’s hairstreak calls these habitats home. It lives in the treetops, its larvae munching away at sprigs of mistletoe.

The Xerces Society and our conservation partners at Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Food Safety, represented by the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, appealed a recent court decision that determined that the California Fish and Game Commission lacks authority to list four bumble bee species under the California Endangered Species Act.