WASHINGTON, DC – Thousands of Americans today participated in Endangered Species Day events and activities across the country, in recognition of the country’s commitment to protect and restore endangered wildlife.
This is the 16th annual International Day of Endangered Species, which takes place on the third Friday in May, celebrating wildlife and wild places.
âEndangered Species Day celebrates our declared national responsibility to our children and their children to save our endangered wildlife and plants,â said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition, main sponsor of Endangered Species Day. âBald eagles, sea turtles, wolves and gray whales are just a fraction of the 1,600 species that the Endangered Species Act saves every day.â
Endangered Species Day was established by the United States Senate in 2006, when it unanimously appointed May 11, 2006, inaugural Endangered Species Day, to encourage “the people of the United States to educate themselves and be aware of threats to species, successes in species recovery and the possibility of promoting the conservation of species worldwide. ”
President Biden, a senator at the time, was a co-sponsor of the 2006 Senate resolution creating Endangered Species Day and he was also an original cosponsor of the Endangered Species Act she – even in 1973. Since 2006, Endangered Species Day has been celebrated every year on the third Friday in May.
This year, Endangered Species Day will feature a combination of virtual, remote and socially distant in-person activities. On Friday (and throughout May), wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, parks, botanical gardens, schools, libraries, museums and community groups will host these events. Some highlights include:
- A nationwide chalk art competition, organized by the Endangered Species Coalition;
- A panel discussion, âSaving the Endangered Marine Megafaunaâ, organized by Shark Stewards and the Earth Island Institute;
- Colorado Endangered Species Week, a week of free educational events and fun advocacy opportunities to protect endangered plant and animal species in Colorado, including a day of service, an evening of virtual quizzes and an auction. auction, organized by Rocky Mountain Wild and other organizations;
- Special exhibits and activities at zoos around the world, including London Zoo, Auckland Zoo and Atlanta Zoo;
- Plantations of pollinator gardens in the United States to create habitat for native bees, butterflies, and other pollinator species.
These and other events are listed on Endangered Species Day website.
In 2009, the Coalition began incorporating a national youth art competition into the Endangered Species Day event. Each year, nearly two thousand students of all ages submit illustrations of their favorite endangered species to the contest judges. The top winners from each age group are selected for publication in the annual Endangered Species Art Calendar, and the top winner receives a special prize. This year’s grand prize winner is Maple Valley, WA, Phoebe C. Cheobe, 16, received a $ 200.00 certificate for art supplies, a virtual art lesson by a professional artist and educator, and $ 300 in funding for the purchase of native plants for pollinators, from the Endangered Species Coalition’s Pollinator Protector Campaign.
More than 1,300 species of endangered plants, fish and wildlife in the United States have been protected by the Endangered Species Act, and only ten have gone extinct, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, a Study 2012 found that 90 percent of protected species are recovering at the rate predicted in their scientific recovery plans. Signed by President Richard Nixon in 1973, public opinion research indicates that the law enjoys wide public support.
âWe have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of nature,â Huta said. “The Endangered Species Act is a statement to the world that we will not deprive our children of the opportunity to see a humpback whale pierce the ocean surface or hear the cry of the bald eagle. white. “
In addition to the Endangered Species Coalition, the National Park Service (NPS), the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), many conservation, education, community and youth organizations also supported and participated in Endangered Species Day, including Girl Scouts USA , Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, and Native Plant Conservation Campaign.
For more information on Endangered Species Day, including event locations and a variety of educational resources, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.