Endangered Species Day 2015, Celebrating Success!

May 15, 2015 by  
Filed under All Posts, Animal News, Wild Animals

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May 15th is a wonderful day to recognize our nation’s success in helping endangered animals, and to join in the good fight!

The successful prevention of extinction for imperiled animal life is beginning to unfold!

The Endangered Species Day, started by the U.S. Senate, is celebrated on the third Friday in May each year. This is a wonderful day of awareness to commemorate our countries conservation efforts.

Many animals are identified and listed, in accord with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as either endangered or threatened. These species, and the ecosystems they depend on, are then afforded some protections and a recovery plan is developed. Species identified as threatened include all major taxonomic groups. There is a diversity of listing lengths, dependent on the estimated time to achieve, with some requiring up to 46 years.

The Endangered Species Act is turning out to be an outstanding program that has shown a remarkably successful recovery rate. As recently as 3 years ago, according to “110 Success Stories for Endangered Species Day 2012,” it was estimated that “90 percent of species are recovering at the rate specified by their federal recovery plan.”

About the Endangered Species Act

Large scale awareness and protection of species in danger of extinction has been in the works for the last 50 years. It started with the Endangered Species Preservation Act, passed by Congress in 1966. This act listed animal species endangered in the United States and provided them limited protections. The first list of endangered species was issued in March of 1977. There were 78 species identified; 22 fish, 36 birds, 14 mammals, and 6 reptiles and amphibians.

Today these protections have expanded into the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which was passed in December of 1973. This act includes not only species in the United States, but species worldwide. It has also been expanded to include both animal and plant species, and to preserve the ecosystems upon which these species depend.

Over the course of the last half century a number of additional animal species have been added to the list. Today there are 282 endangered animals identified in the United States that include 94 fish, 80 birds, 74 mammals, and 34 reptiles and amphibians. Another 206 animal species are such things as insects, snails, clams, arachnids, and crustaceans. All told there are 488 animals listed as endangered, and there is also an additional 202 animals listed as threatened.
282 endangered animals.

Successful animal recoveries!

Two of our best known animals have already been delisted from the endangered species list. One is a much beloved favorite and an American icon, the Bald Eagle. The other, which is equally well known though possibly not as held with quite the same level of affectionate, is the American Alligator. Two more species are also soon to join in that success. The Gray Wolf and the Humpback Whale have been proposed for delisting and more may be on the way!

This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our conservation successes. But it is even more than, it’s also an opportunity to expand our awareness of the animals that are co-inhabitants of this great earth. Along with the animals, another vital thing for protecting endangered species is protecting their habitat. Recovering endangered and threatened species is a responsibility we all share.

Saving animal species in 7 easy steps

Make today, Endangered Species Day, the beginning of an adventure! Learning about steps we can each take to save imperiled species is very rewarding. The 7 easy steps below are a great place to start!

  1. Conserve water
    Severe water shortages is a threat that many predict is looming in the future, so use water wisely.
  2. Use pesticides and herbicides carefully
    Be mindful when using pesticides and herbicides and really toxic chemicals can make their way into the water stream.
  3. Be careful with your trash
    Only put out garbage at pickup time, and make sure it is contained when you do put it out, as it can attract wildlife.
  4. Add decorative decals on your windows
    Decals on your large windows can help prevent bird collisions.
  5. Slow down
    Drive slower to avoid hitting any animals, especially in rural areas and at night. Drive slowly in boats as well.
  6. Help control invasive species
    Don’t release any invasive species into the wild. Protecting the habitats of native species from potentially destruct intruders helps conserve the natural environment they depend on to thrive.
  7. Volunteer at animal facilities
    Your local animal shelter and/or wildlife refuge can use your help and support. Just think, then you can learn all about the native species in your area!

Honoring all sorts of animals and understanding their needs is not only important for their survival, but it’s also a lot of fun!

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Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World.com and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Photo collage images provided courtesy of the Endangered Species Coalition..

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