Conservation programs funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation benefit hundreds of species and the habitats they depend on across the United States. NFWF has developed conservation strategies with measurable outcomes that track progress for many of these species. These species are good indicators of healthy habitats.
These strategies and metrics can be found in NFWF’s business plans developed by scientists and other experts, and approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors. NFWF programs fund conservation grants that implement the strategies and actions identified in the business plan.
Click on the species to learn a little about it, and which programs fund grants to conserve the species and its habitat.
Fossil record shows that the Alalā, or Hawaiian crow, is the only one of the original five species of crow in Hawaii to survive extinction thus far. While the bird has been extinct in the wild since 20002, a captive rearing program has been successful in growing the global population from 10 to more than 120 individuals. In 2016, an ambitious re-introduction program launched with the goal to re-establish a self-sustaining population of Alalā in native forests on the island of Hawaii.
The golden eagle is a Holarctic species that inhabits open country, in either deserts, tundra, high altitudes or rangelands. Although it is widely distributed in the continental United States, its numbers are generally much greater in western states.
The striking roseate spoonbill is found in tropical and subtropical wetlands throughout the Americas. In the United States, it is found within the Gulf states where it remains uncommon and local.
One of North America's most iconic species, the monarch butterfly is best known for it's spectacular 3,000-mile annual migration from their northern breeding grounds to wintering grounds in central Mexico. A distinct, western monarch population migrates between the western states and their winter range in coastal California; both the eastern and western populations have been negatively affected by habitat loss and reduction in milkweed plants that serve as the sole food source for monarch caterpillars.
With their distinctive bright blue claws, blue crabs are one of the most iconic species of the Chesapeake Bay, where an estimated 594 million were found in 2019. These bottom-dwelling omnivores have a very wide geographic distribution that supports an important blue crab fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.
Found in shallow, tropical waters around the world, coral reefs are among the most iconic and diverse ecosystems on earth. Despite covering less than 1 percent of the ocean, 25 percent of marine species rely on coral reefs, which are made up of many different species of coral. While corals are threatened by pollution, overfishing, disease and increasing ocean temperature resulting in widespread mortality, local conservation efforts coupled with advancements in coral restoration show promise for conserving this important ecosystem.
Elk are large herbivores known for the males' widely branching antlers and iconic bugle-call during fall mating season. Elk prefer open woodlands, and some populations migrate long distances between high-altitude summer ranges where they give birth, and low-altitude winter ranges to escape harsh winters.
Mule deer are a social, migratory ungulate who are named for their large ears that resemble a mule's ears. An iconic species of the western United States, habitat loss and increased fragmentation of the landscape have caused localized declines in mule deer populations and reduced the function of critical migration paths.
Black storm-petrels are an agile, burrow- or crevice-nesting colonial seabird that lay a single egg and nest on offshore islands and rocks from southern California southward along the Baja peninsula of Mexico. Storm-petrels are the smallest members of the Procellariiformes order, an oceanic long-lived seabird group that includes albatrosses, shearwaters and petrels.
The great egret is a common breeding species in many wetlands throughout the United States. However, this was not always the case. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the bird was nearly eliminated from the country because of demand for its feathers as part of a hat trade. Following a ban on hunting the great egret in 1912, and the species has recovered to its former numbers.
Weighing as much as 11 tons and measuring up to 32 feet in length, killer whales are the largest oceanic dolphins and a top marine predator. While they are widely distributed throughout the world’s oceans, the endangered Southern Resident population, which spend most of their time in the inland waters of the Salish Sea, is declining significantly with just 73 animals remaining.
Northern bobwhite quail
One of the most economically important game birds, the northern bobwhite quail is named for the distinctive 'bob-white' mating call of males throughout the breeding season. Bobwhite quail prefer shrubby areas surrounding grasslands or agricultural fields and live in groups called "coveys" during the fall and winter.