Humans threaten wildlife through harassment, habitat degradation, encroachment and destruction, cruel and irresponsible hunting and trapping, capture and killing for profit, incidental poisoning and vehicle strikes, and culling. AWI works to safeguard wild animals and their habitats, and minimize or eliminate the impacts of detrimental human actions. We urge governments and other policymakers to halt or prevent damaging actions by calling for better enforcement of wildlife protection laws, promoting severe penalties for wildlife criminals, and supporting increased funding for federal land and wildlife management agencies. We advocate for humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, and engage and educate the public on ways to help wildlife.
AWI works to prevent commercial exploitation of threatened and endangered species by fighting for enforcement against poachers, smugglers, and dishonest animal dealers. We are actively involved in monitoring and contesting unsustainable or inhumane trade in wildlife, including through our participation in meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to help ensure that international trade in wildlife does not threaten species with extinction.
AWI encourages research into humane, non-lethal wildlife management, including through its Christine Stevens Wildlife Award, and discourages and opposes methods of managing wildlife that are cruel, unnecessary, and/or are not based on sound science. AWI campaigns to protect the rights of wild horses and burros and seeks to end the use of the non-selective and highly destructive steel-jaw leghold traps, which despite being banned in over 70 countries around the globe, including the entire European Union - is still the most common type of trap used to catch millions of furbearing animals each year in the U.S.