Educational Events and Organized Opportunities
.On May 16th, 2014 federal agencies, states, towns and citizens will observe Endangered Species Day to recognize the nation’s efforts to protect and conserve endangered species and their habitats. Made official by the United States Congress in 2006, Endangered Species Day is an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and actions we can all take to help. Typically celebrated on the 3rd Friday of May (although events will be on-going throughout the month); zoos, aquariums, arboretums, botanical gardens, museums, schools, community preservation groups, gardening groups and wildlife refuges will hold tours, host open houses, schedule special speakers and presentations, have volunteer opportunities, open special exhibits and generally provide educational outreach and action opportunities for the public to become more informed and involved in the international effort to preserve and protect endangered species. There are many ways for you to participate or attend an event, find out what is happening near you:
Evolution and extinction of species has been going on since the beginning of life on earth. However, the rate and extent of species loss has significantly increased since the arrival of modern man. Since the pilgrims made landfall in 1620, it is estimated that over 500 species, subspecies and varieties of the nation’s plants and animals have gone extinct. This rapid loss, the rate and extent thereof, can be directly attributed to human activities. In 1966 Congress recognized the danger that the nation’s wildlife was facing by passing the “Endangered Species Preservation Act” , followed by a more stringent policy enacted in 1973, the “Endangered Species Act” (ESA), which currently lists over 1300 species as threatened or Endangered. The ESA is in place to protect and recover imperiled species and the habitats and ecosystems on which they rely. It is currently jointly administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Extinction is a serious threat around the world, but there is hope. Actions taken due to the ESA have saved 99 percent of listed species from extinction. It is vital to study, educate and act upon this issue; endangered and threatened plants and wildlife are of ecological, historical, scientific and aesthetic value to life as we know it. Our best weapon is education, get out to some of these events and learn about the importance of threatened and endangered species in your region and beyond, and take action against extinction!