Celebrate Endangered Species Day Today

May 16, 2014, is the day we observe the multitude of efforts taken to protect our nation’s endangered species, as well as diverse habitat that sustain them. That’s right, it’s Endangered Species Day.

Piping plovers breed on the shores of the northeast, and are extremely endangered.  via USFWS

Piping plovers breed on the shores of the northeast, and are extremely endangered. via USFWS

December was the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, a federal law designed to protect and restore the many imperiled populations of fish, wildlife and native plants of our nation. For many species, such as the Delmarva fox squirrel or Jesup’s milk-vetch, being listed on the Endangered Species Act was crucial in conserving rare and at-risk species. But despite our successes, these species continue to face threats around the globe ranging from climate change and rising sea levels to habitat destruction and the spread of invasive species.

There are many events throughout the Atlantic Northeast to celebrate, such as Franklin Park Zoo this Saturday, May 17. At these zoos, you can see endangered species first hand, such as jaguars and Mexican gray wolves, among other species. If there’s an event happening nearby, I encourage you to check it out! For a complete list of Endangered Species Day events, look here.

Jesop's milk-vetch was formerly found only on one mountain top in New Hampshire, but the Endangered Species Act is helping it along its recovery. Credit: Sarah Cairns for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau

Jesop’s milk-vetch was formerly found only on one mountain top in New Hampshire, but the Endangered Species Act is helping it along its recovery. Credit: Sarah Cairns for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau

Pictured here, Delmarva fox squirrel can easily be mistaken for its cousin, the eastern gray squirrel, but the former has a bushier tail. via USFWS.

Pictured here, Delmarva fox squirrel can easily be mistaken for its cousin, the eastern gray squirrel, but the former has a bushier tail. via USFWS.

One simple way to celebrate Endangered Species Day this year would be to educate a friend or family member about the dangers that these threatened species face, not just on May 16, but every day.

This year, the winner of our Endangered Species Day Art Contest is Amy Feng, of Livingston, New Jersey, with her painting of a sea otter. Congrats Amy!

And after you’ve enjoyed the Endangered Species Day festivities, don’t forget to keep endangered species on your mind throughout the calendar year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: