Every year on May 21, communities worldwide observe Endangered Species Day as both a celebration of successful conservation efforts to protect our nation's endangered species and their habitats… and a remembrance of those we have already lost and are rapidly losing. We live in a world of accelerated biodiversity loss and have limited resources to properly manage these animals.
Like all conservation issues, this problem involves people and that makes things a little trickier. While most solutions to any management problem lies in the people who live closest to said wildlife, it’s up to conservationists to not only be good communicators but also really good listeners. (It’s something called ‘compassionate science communication’ and I could do a whole blog post about this)
So, is there anything the general public can do to help? Yes! Here are four simple ways to help:
Get involved with (or start) a recycling initiative
Want to help protect endangered species in a way that will have an immediate impact? Donate your time to recycling programs in your area! Don’t have one? Start one!
Plant native wildlife to attract pollinators
Have a bit of a green thumb? Go out and buy some native plants to add in your garden. They not only provide shelter and food for wildlife, but they support pollinators by attracting a variety of birds, butterflies, bees, and other little critters! Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions so they don't require fertilizers or as much pesticides. Pick some up today!
Clean up your local parks and waterways
You can help your local parks, wetlands, beaches, forests, or rivers by cleaning them up! You can make this an all-day event with friends and family or just take five minutes out of your day to clear the rubbish around you. This is a great way to save not only the natural wildlife in your area but keeps trash from leeching into other parts too (e.g. a discarded balloon by your house could float down river, into the ocean, and into the belly of a sea animal).
Fun fact: on one of our first dates, my partner and I had a picnic outside! When we were done and cleaning up, he noticed someone had left a bunch of rubbish behind and went out of his way to clean that up too. That simple act made me fall a little deeper for him.
Educate others about eco-friendly products
Have you checked your cleaning products lately? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that quite a few household cleaning products can pose a threat to the environment. It just goes to show that our actions matter! Thankfully, there are a range of eco-friendly products now available at a reasonably affordable price. Feeling generous? Purchase some eco-friendly cleaning supplies to donate to local schools or animal shelters.
Here are three ways you can celebrate Endangered Species Day from the comfort of your own home:
1. Support wildlife conservation efforts by donating your time and/or money to reputable organizations (such The National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, and more).
2. Show your support for endangered species by sharing a photo on your different social media platforms of your favorite threatened wildlife species! Use the hashtag #EndangeredSpeciesDay and look to see what other animals are being showcased by friends and family.
3. Attend a virtual Endangered Species Day event!
I would love to know what your favorite endangered species are!
This isn't your average blog. THINK OF IT LIKE THE BRITISH LIBRARY, EXCEPT WAY SASSIER.
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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