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Defenders of Wildlife President talks wildlife conservation issues at Beverly Hills event

Posted Friday October 8, 2010 – 11:30am

By Brenton Garen, Beverly Hills Courier

About 60 people attended a ‘Meet Defenders of Wildlife’ event at the Wilshire Country Club Thursday night to hear about present day wildlife conservation issues.

Defenders President Rodger Schlickeisen spoke about four major wildlife issues, including saving individual larger species and predator species.

“They have the most difficult time to exist in the United States,” Schlickeisen told The Courier.

“Grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, jaguars, California condors and seal otters are a few. We talked about the way Defenders works to save all of these species.”

There are also many broad threats to wildlife, he said.

“One of those being offshore oil drilling, something that was emphasized by the Gulf oil well disaster and the kind of work we’re doing right now to make sure future drilling in deep water or anywhere for that matter is much more environmentally safe than it is now,” he said.

“We talked about climate change, not only the need to control greenhouse emissions, but how you deal with warming climate on wildlife and what you have to do to help wildlife have its best chance at surviving climate change.”

Schlickeisen said the Defenders have had many recent victories.

The organization was one of the lead groups that helped eliminate lead bullets that are deadly to condors and other animals, it established Sea Otter Awareness Week and it was the lead in establishing a tax check off that benefits sea otter research and conservation in California.

Defenders recently wrote the first legislation to try to help wildlife survive climate change, which passed the House of Representatives, but did not pass the Senate, Schlickeisen said.

“Although it didn’t pass, we did get the Federal Government to establish the first ever national Wildlife And Global Warming Science Center to understand the scientific impacts,” he said.

More information on how you can support Defenders of Wildlife can be found at www.defenders.org.

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