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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!

In Santa Fe, NM, Xerces is working with local partners to develop a city-wide Pollinator Trail focused on creating connected habitat through neighborhoods that lack greenspaces. In September, after months of planning and preparation, 350 habitat kits were distributed to residents and organizations. When many people come together around a common goal, small efforts can quickly add up to large-scale conservation.

Freshwater mussels share our rivers and enrich our natural and cultural connections. They keep streams clean, provide habitat for other invertebrates, and support fish populations. Despite their importance, they are among the most threatened groups of wildlife and eight species were recently declared extinct.

While we know a lot about what types of flowers bumble bees like, we know very little about where these new queens go to overwinter. Queen Quest returns this fall in an effort to gain information about where bumble bee queens overwinter. The official blitz date is Saturday, October 16, 2021, but you can search before or after this date.