Endangered wildlife knows no borders. The Center works to save global biodiversity by using U.S. and international law to hold governments accountable for protecting imperiled species wherever they're found.


The Center protects species as distinct from each other as the giraffe, the emperor penguin and the pangolin, in places as far-flung as Ecuador and Mozambique. By using the U.S. legal system and U.S. laws — like the Endangered Species Act — we're working to ensure that American government activities and projects abroad don't hurt imperiled species. We also take action under international wildlife-protection treaties and trade laws to ensure species abroad are given the protection they deserve. With our office in Mexico and our grassroots conservation-group allies abroad, the Center is securing a future for diverse species and habitat around the globe.


• Petitions and legal action under U.S. and international law 

• Global policy advocacy

• Coalition building with local allies 

• Creative media


Our International program ...

• In 2020 secured a seafood import ban to pressure Mexico to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise, with only 10 individuals remaining.

• Successfully sued to force the Trump administration to propose Endangered Species Act protections for pangolins and sought sanctions against China for its illegal pangolin trade.

• In 2020 filed the first-ever case in Mexican courts seeking protections for hammerhead sharks under Mexico’s wildlife protection law, NOM-059.

• Released our groundbreaking report on the threat of zoonotic diseases — like COVID-19 — from U.S. wildlife imports including primates, rodents and bats.

• Sought action against Mexico under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada treaty for killing hundreds of endangered loggerhead sea turtles a year in fishing gear.

• In 2017 partnered with the Tohono O'odham tribe in Mexico to file an endangerment petition for Sonora's El Pinacate and Gran Desierto Biosphere Reserve. A wall in that area would block cross-border migration of endangered species and restrict access for the Tohono O'odham people.

• In 2019 secured international protections to limit trade in giraffes, teatfish sea cucumbers, blue ornamental tarantulas and other imperiled animals.

• Successfully pressed the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to deem the Gulf of California a World Heritage Site “in danger” due to declines in vaquitas, resulting in international oversight and a management plan.

• In 2015 sought “endangered” protections for Africa's savannah and forest elephants, with both species vanishing due to the illegal ivory trade.

• To reduce trophy hunting in Africa, filed multiple lawsuits to limit U.S. imports of imperiled leopard, giraffe, lion and elephant trophies.

• In 2012 sought sanctions to stop Canada's unsustainable polar bear hunt that violates an international polar bear treaty. Canada and other range countries have now agreed to a joint reporting program for all hunting and polar bear trade.

Jaguar banner photo by Eric Kilby/Flickr.