Today is Endangered Species Day.
A day that I would like each of you to take a moment of your time and think on things that are happening in not just the world around us, but right in our own backyards.
1,324 – The # of species listed as endangered in the United States alone! [750 plants, 574 animals]
Did you know all species of sea turtles are either endangered or threatened? Yeah, me neither
How about this scary tidbit of information: Within the next 30 years, almost 1/4 of the World’s Mammals will be at risk for extinction … Wow! That’s something I just can’t stand for.
I don’t even want to think about the chance that my grandchildren or great grandchildren might never have the opportunity to see a panda, tiger, dolphin or whale. I just won’t do it.
Luckily, since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, there have been hundreds of success stories.
- Bald Eagle – Recovered and delisted
- Peregrine Falcon – Recovered and Delisted
- Grizzly Bear – Proposed for delisting.
- Gray Wolf – Populations are rebounding under ESA protections
And even more species are recovering as we speak. Whew, at least that’s good news.
OK, now that I have scared us all into action, let’s talk about some of the things we can do to make a difference.
1. Raise Awareness – Spread the word in your communities about local threatened species. Educate your children about endangered species, children are the future and well, sadly, EXTINCT is forever.
Tell everyone you know, Farmers can get tax deductions for endangered species on their property.
2. Clean up a Wildlife Refuge – Volunteer your time to help clean debris and weeds from a nearby designated wildlife habitat.
3. Support Zoos, Aquariums & even Sea World – I know there are a lot of folks out there who don’t agree with zoos or animals being kept in captivity for the enjoyment of humans. I urge you to reconsider your view point in these circumstances. It is because of zoos, aquariums and even places like Sea World that we have been able to learn about many species, boost populations and physically connect children (and adults too) to all types of wildlife that would have otherwise been impossible. (Ignorance is bliss but knowledge is power and seeing is believing – folks are more likely to get involved when they’ve experienced something firsthand) Without these places, many of the accomplishments we have made would not have been possible. Your contributions and patronage to these locations helps ensure future endeavors and possibilities for generations to come.
4. Take a stroll through a Garden – You might not think of plants when you think of endangered species but plants are declining at a rate as rapidly as animals without as many advocates coming to their defense. Your nearest Botanical Garden is a treasure trove of information and a huge player in keeping endangered plants on the map.
5. Be Respectful to Mother Earth – Pesticides, landfills, off shore drilling. These are all reasons species are becoming endangered to begin with. Find alternative methods, reduce your carbon footprint and recycle as much of your waste as possible. By doing your part, you are lightening a heavy load our nation is resting on the shoulders of our great planet.
6. Spread the Word – Click on over to the Conservation Action Network and speak out for wildlife everywhere.
Thank you for your time.