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Endangered Species Day

For those who are concerned about the long term health of our planet, Endangered Species Day is very important. There are many species that are on the brink of extinction and others with numbers that are decreasing rapidly but are not considered endangered yet.

The list of endangered species is quite long. Most of us have heard about the sad state of polar bears, Indian elephants, Beluga sturgeons, mountain gorillas, Goliath groupers, bald eagles, red wolves, black rhinoceros, blue whales, and giant pandas, but there are many species on the endangered list that you very seldom hear about. They include the Sumatran orangutans, Siberian tigers, brown spider monkeys, African wild dogs, southern bluefin tuna, Bactrian camels, Chinese giant salamanders, Atlantic halibut, and many others.

Individual species, no matter how insignificant one may think, are linked to every other species on earth and with the demise of just one species, there may be long term effects that cause irreversible harm to whole eco-systems, including those that benefit human beings.

In 1973, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to promote “esthetic, ecological, educational, recreational, and scientific value to our Nation and its people. The ESA was written to keep endangered species from being exploited and to recover significant numbers for those that are on the verge of extinction.

The ESA also protects valuable habitats and create safe environments for plants, animals, and sea creatures to live, breed, and thrive. It is a great asset for future generations because once any species goes extinct, it gone for good.

Endangered Species Day shines a much needed light on issues negatively effecting birds, animals, and plants on every continent and in all the oceans on the planet. It is a great opportunity for everyone to learn and understand the importance of protecting endangered animals, plants, birds, fish, and other aquatic life.

Below is a list of just a few things that may endanger or cause the extinction of animals, plants, birds, and helpful insect species.

  • Encroachment on wildlife habitats and sanctuaries to build towns, cities, and farms.

  • The indiscriminate killing of animals and birds for sport or for their fur, fins, tusks, shells, feathers, or other body parts.

  • Excessive logging, drilling, and mining.

  • Oil and chemical spills on land and in the water.

  • Deforestation methods such as the burn off of rain forests and grasslands that are used for farming or ranching.

  • Over fishing and the destruction of reefs and other aquatic habitats.

  • The building of dams and the blockage of rivers, streams, and other natural waterways.

  • The introduction of animals that have no natural predators that hunt and kill native wildlife.

  • The introduction of foreign plants that suck the nutrients from the soil that native plants rely on for survival.

  • The introduction of non-native beetles, fruit flies, locusts, and other harmful insects that eat or cause deadly diseases that kill native trees and plants.

  • The use of harmful pesticides that kill birds and animals that eat or drink them.

  • The use of poisons and pesticides that are washed into lakes, streams and rivers killing fish, turtles, snakes, and other aquatic life.

Endangered Species Day celebrates the importance of protecting endangered species. It provides an opportunity for everyone to learn about animals and how we can all lend a helping hand to help protect them. Events are held on Endangered Species Day at zoos, parks, museums, schools aquariums and other venues.

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