Our planet is populated with millions of different types of animals and species that are threatened or at risk of extinction. National Endangered Species Day was created to keep us aware of how fragile the existence of some animals are. It’s a day to learn about why it’s so important to protect endangered species from any further harm.
The first National Endangered Species Day was held in 2006, but there’s been official recognition of the issue for far longer than that.The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is a landmark piece of conservation legislation that led the way for national and international efforts to protect animal and plant species from extinction.
National Endangered Species Day is celebrated each year on the third Friday of May. The day is recognized to help raise awareness about the endangered species of our country and around the globe. It’s also an opportunity to be more informed about conservation efforts of endangered species and how steps are being taken to properly protect these animals.
An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. An endangered species is also a species that is at risk to become extinct in the near future, either worldwide or in a particular region on earth. Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation.
Human behavior is largely responsible for animals becoming extinct, endangered, or threatened. Some examples are:
Humans are largely responsible for animals becoming extinct, endangered, or threatened. As our populations grow, we dam rivers and cut down trees to make way for buildings and roads.
Oil spills and water pollution are devastating and take years for an ecosystem to recover. Many people hunt or collect exotic animals for profit or as trophies as well. All of these factors contribute to putting animals at risk of extinction.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has generated the “Red List of Threatened Species.” This list recognizes the conservation status of species from around the world and assigns a severity level for each. It is a powerful tool to provide information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, threats, and conservation actions necessary that will help to protect and preserve endangered animal species on the planet.
There are over 41,000 species on the IUCN Red List.
There are seven levels or classifications of risk status on the Red List:
There are a number of ways to take part in National Endangered Species Day, and learn about conservation efforts in your area. Take time to read up on some of the species that are approaching extinction, and if you are able to go to a local zoo or aquarium that houses some of these species, be sure to organize a big group visit! Make sure you use the hashtag #endangeredspeciesday on social media and share pictures of some of the cutest and majestic endangered critters you meet that day.
You can also volunteer at SeaQuest! #SQtotheRescue aims to inform communities on how to rescue, educate and conserve endangered and threatened wildlife. Some key iniatives are to:
SeaQuest is committed to protecting our world's oceans, wildlife, and endangered animals. We focus on how to be proactive in finding solutions. To learn more about endangered species, book your visit today at any of the following locations: Utah, Las Vegas, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Connecticut, Lynchburg, New Jersey, and Atlanta.