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Endangered Species Day

Today is Endangered Species Day! It is a day to think about the beauty (and fragility) of life. Support efforts to protect and save endangered species and their habitats!

Back in 1966 Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act, and then in 1973 a more comprehensive law - the Endangered Species Act. The purpose is to protect and recover imperiled species, and to preserve the ecosystems upon which these species depend. Under the act, species may be listed as either endangered or threatened.

There are over 1600 species of plants and animals currently listed as either threatened or endangered in the United States. We (humans) are the main reason for species being threatened, endangered, or becoming extinct in the United States.

Some ways humans have contributed to this: killed off the species (e.g. passenger pigeons killed for sport, dodo bird), pesticides (DDT made bird shells too weak, and many pesticides kill off pollinator species), loss of habitat (e.g. from development or polluting of habitat), and introducing nonnative or invasive species. [See EPA comments] And then there is climate change which is altering ecosystems... also caused by humans.

Some things you can do: 1) reduce pesticide use in your yard and garden (to save pollinators, beneficial insects, birds), 2) don't litter, 3) reduce use of plastics (plastic winds up in animals, birds, fish), 4) oppose development that destroys critical habitat, 5) support conservation efforts, and 6) support groups that work on the issue of endangered species. 7) You can even create a backyard wildlife habitat!

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