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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:

 

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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 recent years, invertebrates on farms have received a little more mainstream attention, often under the broader umbrella of “regenerative agriculture,” a loosely defined philosophy that proposes farms should improve rather than diminish natural resources. With supporting investments from the USDA National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Xerces Society recently inaugurated a five-year, multi-state research and development project focused on evaluating conservation practices that simultaneously maximize climate resilience, biodiversity, and market incentives.

Agriculture is the single largest land use on the planet, with more than 40% of the Earth’s surface devoted to crops or grazing. In order to fully address climate change and sustain agriculture in an unstable climate, we must also address the biodiversity crisis. By making biodiversity conservation a part of regenerative farming and including it in funding options like the USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, the agricultural sector can tackle both the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis simultaneously.

In our work, we regularly put an emphasis on the importance of using native plants when creating habitat, whether it’s a new prairie, a farm hedgerow, a meadow in a park, or a flower border in your own backyard. Pollinators are often the principal interest for these types of projects, but the benefits of using native plants go far beyond, including, potentially, into a more climate-resilient future for people and wildlife.