13th Annual Endangered Species Day
On May 18th, 2018, America will celebrate endangered species success stories, including the protection and recovery of the American bald eagle and whooping crane.
Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places. The goal of Endangered Species Day is simple—to educate people about the importance of protecting our rare, threatened, and endangered animal and plant species.
Endangered Species Day provides an opportunity for parks, schools, libraries, museums, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, businesses, community groups and conservation organizations to educate the public about the importance of protecting endangered species and highlight the everyday actions that individuals can take to help protect our nation’s wildlife, fish and plants.
"There are many examples across the U.S. Great Plains of species struggling to survive the onslaught of habitat destruction. "Endangered Species Day" is an opportunity for all of us to learn what we can do as individuals to help protect these species," said Tina Rust with American Prairie Corridor. Mammals such as the black-footed ferret and swift fox, birds such as the American peregrine falcon, American bald eagle, whooping crane, and piping plover, and native plants such as the western prairie fringed orchid, small white lady's slipper orchid, and Mead's milkweed are just a few of the species across the Great Plains that are threatened.
But some of these species are starting to recover, and one reason for their success is the passage of the federal Endangered Species Act over 44 years ago. This Act has successfully prevented the extinction of hundreds of species, including the humpback whale, Kirtland’s warbler, and bull trout. Many of our nation’s signature species, such as the Florida panther, Hawaiian monk seal, and Alabama red-bellied turtle, owe their continued existence to the protections of the Act. The resounding success of the Act shows in the fact that just nine animals out of the more than 1,800 species listed as endangered under the Act have been declared extinct.
The Endangered Species Act provides a safety net for animals and plants on the brink of extinction. “Protecting America’s wildlife today is a legacy we can leave to our children and grandchildren tomorrow," noted Greg Tonian with American Prairie Corridor.
Endangered Species Day will raise awareness about the ongoing threats to endangered species, and the Act’s tremendous success in helping species to recover. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about the wide variety of actions that individuals and groups can take to help protect our nation’s wildlife, including building backyard wildlife habitat, protecting water quality, and supporting local efforts to clean up rivers, parks, and other natural areas.
A project of the Endangered Species Coalition, Endangered Species Day is also supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with numerous conservation and education organizations, including the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, National Audubon Society, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Jane Goodall Institute, North American Association for Environmental Education, National Garden Clubs, Sierra Club, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association, San Diego Zoo, Earth Day Network, National Wildlife Federation, and Defenders of Wildlife.
For more information on Endangered Species Day, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org