NWF Members Matter

Working Together for Wildlife

03-18-2016 // NWF Staff
This Week at National Wildlife Federation, we celebrated our 78th annual National Wildlife Week!

Across the Federation our members were honored, as this years theme was Members Matter: Working Together for Wildlife - The conservation contributions that individuals, schools, and communities can make have positive impacts for wildlife across the nation.

At National Wildlife magazine, we celebrated with some of our favorite members' photos submitted in past National Wildlife Photo Contests. Whether they make their homes on the plains, in our rivers, in backyards, in the mountains, or on the Arctic tundra, these species are supported by our members in many ways every day.


Across the country, NWF members support a diversity of native wildlife by protecting species in their backyards. These members have created yards or gardens that attract native wildlife, provide food, water, cover and places for animals to raise their young. Through our Garden for Wildlife™ programs, NWF has certified more than 200,000 wildlife habitats - totaling hundreds of thousands of acres of habitat for wildlife!

American robin eating serviceberry
American Robin eating serviceberry in a Pennsylvania certified wildlife habitat, by Doris Dumrauf. Canon EOS 7D, 400 mm lens.


Certified backyard habitat, Illinois
Certified Wildlife Habitat, Illinois, by Heather Cooper. Olympus Camedia.


Mason Bee entering house
Mason Bee House in a backyard certified Wildlife Sanctuary in Virginia, by Deborah Hran.
Sony CyberShot.


NWF and more than 30 conservation and gardening organizations formed the National Pollinator Garden Network and launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Today, hundreds of thousands of gardens have been planted that help butterflies, bees, bats and other struggling pollinators. NWF and our partners have also provided milkweed seeds to 42,000 kids and their families who pledged to be NWF Butterfly Heroes™ by planting pollinator-friendly plants.

Sweat Bee on a Gaillardia Flower
Sweat Bee on Gaillardia flower, Indiana Backyard, by Mark Brinegar. Canon 40D, MP-E65 macro lens.


Ruby-Throated hummingbird pollinating flower
Ruby-throated hummingbird on backyard lillies, covered in pollen, by Nancy Tully, Pennsylvania.  Nikon P600.


Virescent Green Metallic Bee on wild flowers 
Bee taking advantage of native wildflowers in a California backyard, by Jonathan Lavan.
Nikon D90, 105mm lens.


Creating a certified habitat in your own yard may seem like a small thing, but added together, these thousands of backyard habitats make a difference to both local and migrating wildlife. While many animals do not have to move far from their local habitat in order to have all their needs met, other animals, such as birds and butterflies, require much more space. Birds will travel long distances to find suitable climates and habitats for breeding and nesting.  Monarch butterflies fly from Canada to Mexico each autumn and return to their winter feeding grounds after the breeding season. Aspiring conservationists can help bird and butterfly populations by protecting habitat along major migratory flyways by building wildlife habitats on their balcony, in their backyard, and even on their roof!

Snow Geese take flight over tulips
Migrating Snow Geese flock, Washington, by Korinda Ohana Kay.
Nikon D750 with 400mm lens.


Tagged Monarch Butterfly
Tagged Monarch Butterfly, Indiana, by Mark Brinegar. Canon 40D with 100mm lens.


Chipping Sparrow on Copper plated Birdbath
Chipping Sparrow at copper-plated birdbath, Texas, by Howard Cheek. Canon 1D Mark III.


With the encouragement from thousands of NWF supporters, the California Coastal Commission approved construction of a wildlife crossing over California's U.S. Highway 101 at Liberty Canyon. Wildlife, including mountain lions, use this wildlife corridor to disperse from the nearby Santa Monica Mountains.

Mountain Lion in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Saskatchewan, Canada
Mountain Lion climbing tree, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Canada, by Kameron Perensovich. Canon EOS 50D.


Mountain Lion, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Saskatchewan, Canada
Mountain Lion kit in tree, Cross Mountain, Colorado, by Jesse Hill. Canon PowerShot.


With the support of members, NWF and its affiliates have worked to secure protections for public lands and the wildlife that depend on them. NWF's Adopt a Wildlife Acre program has helped to return 861,000 acres in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem from grazing land to wildlife habitat, reducing the potential conflicts between ranchers and wildlife - including bison, bighorn sheep and grizzly bears

Bison & Calf, Yellowstone NP
Bison and calf resting, Yellowstone National Park, by Dick Forehand.
Canon EOS3 with a 600mm lens.


Battling Bighorns, Cody, WY
Battling Bighorn Sheep, Wyoming, by Nancy Elwood. Nikon D300 and a 70-300mm lens.


Grizzly, Yellowstone NP
Grizzly bear and cub, Yellowstone National Park, by Steve Hinch. Canon 50D, 500mm lens.


Contributions made by members helped to support NWF efforts to protect the grassland and sage-brush habitat that wildlife, such as the greater sage-grouse, depend on. To further help the low-flying sage-grouse NWF and the Montana Conservation Corps installed nearly 30,000 flags over 22 miles of wire fencing, potentially reducing the rate of fatal bird collisions by 80 percent.



Sage Grouse, Blacksmith Fork Canyon, Utah
Strutting Sage-grouse, Blacksmith Fork Canyon, Utah, by Becky Blankenship. Canon 5D, 600mm lens.


NWF and a coalition of conservation groups helped to gather 3 million supporters for efforts to cut carbon pollution and address climate change. The American pika lives on mountain peaks in the western U.S. serving an important role in the Sierra Nevada ecosystem, and is a species that has proven to be vulnerable to climate change - In the Great Basin, pika populations have reduced dramatically, and in fact, they have already disappeared from more than one-third of their previously known habitat in Oregon and Nevada.

American Pika, Mt. Evans Scenic Byway, CO
American Pika, Mt. Evans Scenic Byway, Colorado, by Kathy Kunce. Canon EOS 20D, 100-400mm lens.


Pika, Mount Evans CO
Pika sleeping in the sun, Mt. Evans, Colorado, by Alyssa Mueller.


With the support from members, donors and sponsors, restoring the Gulf of Mexico has been a priority for NWF. Volunteers have been critical to effecting change and reestablishing healthy and balanced ecosystem. In response to the 2010 BP Oil disaster in the Gulf, NWF quickly mobilized volunteers on the ground and trained more than 250 individuals to conduct on-the-ground wildlife surveys from Texas to Florida – more than 2,500 miles.


Bottlenose Dolphin, Gulf of Mexico
Bottlenose Dolphin, Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island, Florida, by Richard Fortune. Canon 1D Mark II, 16-35mm lens.


Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle, South Padre Island Texas
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle, South Padre Island, Texas, by Stacey Hull. Canon camera.


NWF and its state affiliates, with the support of members, have long worked to restore protections to waters. Water and aquatic habitat protections benefit wildlife across the country, from Florida manatees to Minnesota Mallards.

Common Merganser Ducklings
Common Merganser Ducklings, Northern Highland State Forest, Wisconsin, by Matt Erlandson. Canon 7D, 100-400mm lens.


River Otter
North American River Otters, Pennsylvania Wildlife Preserve, by Mark Ditmer. Canon EOS 60D, 20-300mm lens.


Wood Ducks, Colorado
Wood Ducks, Littleton, Colorado, by Robert Palmer. Canon 1D Mark IV, 500mm lens.


Manatee, Crystal River Florida
Manatee, Crystal River, Florida, by David Fleetham. Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 15mm fisheye lens.


Coyote and Mallard Ducks
Coyote sneaks up on Mallards, Colorado, by Maureen Ravnik. Leica V-Lux Typ 114 P & S.


These awesome photos were submitted to National Wildlife's photo contest. Don't forget to take a look at our 2015 photo contest Winners and Honorable Mentions. Sign up here to find out more about our next photo contest.

Want some tips on taking great nature photos? Here are some tips from National Wildlife >>



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