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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!

In a race against climate change as it warms high alpine streams, Senior Endangered Species Conservation Biologist Candace Fallon describes the ongoing hunt for an elusive stonefly, the northern forestfly. Cold-adapted alpine species like the northern forestfly are particularly threatened by extinction due to their patchy distributions, limited dispersal abilities, and reliance on cold water habitats. Fortunately, the increased survey efforts that Xerces and our partners have undertaken over the last few years have resulted in a larger than previously known range and distribution of this species.

Last week, myself, Sarina Jepsen, and Sarah Hoyle of Xerces joined a two-day Monarch Butterfly Summit at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC. Hosted by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley in collaboration with the Department of the Interior, the event brought together key stakeholders to discuss solutions to reverse the declining monarch butterfly, particularly the western monarch population.

This weekend marks World Firefly Day, an annual celebration organized by the Fireflyers International Network. I love fireflies for how they transform places, making them feel both safe and mysterious. As a child, I was comforted by their blinking lights as I walked in the dark, and their seasonal return was always a source of delight and awe. Even as I learned about the chemistry behind their bioluminescence, the sense of wonder remained.