Between politics and the evolving coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard to be uplifted by the news these days. Not to bring thunder to a rainy day, but today honors National Endangered Species Day. Celebrated annually on the third Friday in May, National Endangered Species Day is a day to recognize and support national efforts that protect endangered species and their habitats.
The History Of Endangered Species Day:
In 1973, President Richard Nixon signed the Federal Endangered Species Act into law. By passing this law, the United States took action to care for species in danger of extinction, in addition to protecting and restoring habitats. Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Fish And Wildlife Service (FWS) oversee the Endangered Species Act. The goal of National Endangered Species Day has always been to join efforts with others to protect these species as long as possible.
The Most Endangered Species In The World:
Time on Earth is limited for a certain number of species. Human beings have proven to be the biggest threat to the survival of endangered species. Due to poaching, habitat destruction, and global climate change, some endangered species are nearing extinction. With our help and conservation, however, it is possible to save them. The top 10 species that need our help most include:
- Sea Turtle: 90% of the Hawksbill turtle population is gone and 80% of Leatherback turtles have been lost within the past 10 years
- Gorilla: both cross river gorillas and mountain gorillas have been classified as critically endangered since 1996
- Sumatran Elephant: roughly 70% of the Sumatran elephant’s habitat has been destroyed within the past 25 years
- Orangutan: the Sumatran orangutan has been on the critically endangered list since the year 2000, with roughly 80% of the population lost due to deforestation
- Snow Leopard: found in 12 countries in Central Asia, the snow leopard population is threatened by poachers and herders, who kill them for preying on livestock
- Tiger: the Sumatran Tiger and South China Tiger are classified as critically endangered, and most of them were killed for their fur
- Irrwaddy Dolphin: 2020 reports suggest that there may only be 100 left in the wild, making a sighting extremely rare and special
- Rhinos: the black rhino, the Javan rhino, and the Sumatran rhino are among the most endangered species in the world
- Vaquita: considered the rarest marine animal in the world, it is thought that less than 10 of these sea porpoises exist in the wild
- Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: overfishing is the primary cause of the massive decline of Bluefin tuna numbers over the last 40 years, a 72% decrease in eastern Atlantic and 82% decrease in western Atlantic species
How You Can Help From Home:
If you are looking to celebrate National Endangered Species Day, you can help by becoming a member of the National Wildlife Federation. This organization works to support wildlife conservation efforts. You can also donate to the World Wildlife Fund, which has been a leading conservation organizer in over 100 countries for 60 years.
The future of endangered species is dependent on the decisions we make today. Let’s preserve these species so that they don’t become extinct.