Defenders of Wildlife is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization based in the United States. Its mission is to protect all animals and plants native to North America in their natural communities." Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is a major national conservation organization dedicated to conserving wildlife, protecting their natural habitats, and safeguarding biodiversity. Operationally, Defenders of Wildlife has a three-pronged approach: 1. On the ground at the state and local level, Defenders is involved in developing programs that protect and restore key species and habitats.