Don’t Let Today Be the Last Celebration of Endangered Species Day!

This year’s celebration of Endangered Species Day brings a renewed urgency to the fight to protect imperiled species and the critical need for the Endangered Species Act. 

Endangered San Joaquin kit foxes

Today is the annual Endangered Species Day and we are excited to celebrate all the endangered species we all care so much about!  But we are also profoundly anxious.  If congressional leaders have their way, today could be the last time we celebrate endangered species protection.

Back in 2006, Congress officially designated the third Friday in May as national Endangered Species Day—a celebration of our nation’s wildlife and wild places and the need to protect rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals.

Whether it’s the more commonly talked about gray wolf or Florida panther or the lesser known San Joaquin kit fox or scalloped hammerhead shark, endangered species are something an overwhelming majority of Americans are committed to helping preserve and protect for future generations.

Endangered Species and the ESA

Click image to enlarge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) currently lists 1,447 animal species and 945 plant species as either “Threatened” or “Endangered” under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Put very simply, endangered species are those species that are believed to be on the brink of extinction right now and threatened species are those that are likely to be in the near future. Endangered species enjoy all the protections under the ESA, whereas threatened species sometimes get reduced protections and can be managed more flexibility under the Act.

Since its enactment in 1973, the ESA has kept our most at-risk species from the fate of extinction with a 99% success rate. And yet, in just the last session of Congress (the 114th), the ESA faced more than 130 attacks, a trend that has only continued into this session with 24 attacks since January. And now there is a concerted congressional effort to gut or repeal the astonishingly successful anti-extinction law outright.

Much like our endangered wildlife, America’s legacy of protecting and restoring these imperiled species is at a critical turning point. Mounting attacks against the ESA, the strongest and most important federal law protecting wildlife and wild places, threaten to cripple its effectiveness by underfunding the ESA and calling for its “modernization” and “repeal and replacement.”

As we celebrate this Endangered Species Day, it seems more timely than ever to recognize not only our imperiled wildlife and wild places, but also the premier legislation protecting imperiled species from extinction and the need to fight harder for its survival.

Defenders remains steadfast in our commitment to hold Congress’ feet to the fire when it comes to the ESA. We will do everything in our power to not only preserve the ESA and all the endangered and threatened species it protects, but to secure better funding for the ESA so that species on the brink of extinction can get all the resources they need as they fight to survive.

Join the Fight to Protect Endangered Species Today!

Want to know more about what you can do this Endangered Species Day to help imperiled wildlife? Here are some simple things you can do to make a difference for imperiled wildlife.

  • Tell Congress to protect the Endangered Species Act. You can sign up for our email to get the latest news and action alerts to keep up-to-date on the ESA.
  • Learn about endangered species that live near you. Education is the first step in fostering an appreciation and understanding of the impact and importance of wildlife and their habitats. Make sure to also check out our website for more information.
  • Protect wildlife habitat. Plant native species that encourage and provide habitat and resources for native wildlife species.
  • Get out and explore our public lands. Gain a deeper appreciation for the places wildlife call home by visiting a wildlife refuge, park or other public land. A key to saving species on the brink of extinction is preserving their habitats. Wildlife recreation provides millions of jobs and supports local businesses all while helping support local wildlife. Many of these places also provide great opportunities to volunteer.
  • Make your home wildlife friendly. There’s a lot you can do in your very own backyard to help wildlife like making sure to secure your garbage, feeding your pets indoors and locking pet doors at night, cleaning your bird baths regularly to prevent the spread of disease, placing decals on your windows to prevent birds from catastrophic collisions, avoid using pesticides and herbicides that are hazardous to wildlife.
  • Drive more carefully. Slow down and be a more vigilant driver especially where you see signs warning of wildlife crossings. Many animals live in areas where roads provide a constant hazard, this is especially true for the Florida panther, one of the most endangered mammals in the U.S. Already 10 panthers have been killed in vehicle collisions this year.
  • Be a responsible consumer. Know before you buy, especially if you are traveling overseas. Be careful not to purchase products made from illegal endangered or threatened wildlife like ivory, coral, tortoise shell, products that include fur from tigers, polar bears, monkeys, crocodile skin, bird feathers, etc.
  • Join a local Endangered Species Day event in your community. Defenders and other organizations are putting on events in communities across the U.S. to celebrate Endangered Species Day. Find out what’s happening in your area.

Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the status of other developments important to wildlife conservation and our work. Don’t forget to sign up for our emails where you will get all the latest news and action alerts to support wildlife.

23 Responses to “Don’t Let Today Be the Last Celebration of Endangered Species Day!”

  1. Marilyn Keene

    I love all wild animals, including me!! I Love snakes, spiders, snails, cows, hogs, mountain lions, javelinas, Monarch butterflies, bees, wasps,–you name it I like it.
    I ran into a mountain lion once when I was hiking by myself–also 8 javelinas. I think I also saw the last Monarch butterfly group as it was going to Mexico. I also ran into bears. It makes me tingle all over!!

  2. jillnightingale

    We need all the animals they help the environment and biodiversity of the plant kingdom…they are just as important if not more than humans. I love all animals and have been a vegan for 22 yrs. I feel animals should have more rights than humans…they don’t pollute, or ruin the land…they deserve to be wild and free and abundant just like Nature and God intended. Please don’t let any species become endangered each kind serves many purposes and is part of the chain. Save the animals and appreciate them because they are depending on us as stewards of them and their land.

  3. Lucienne

    All the precious animals on our planet need our utmost protection so they continue to marvel our generations.

  4. mulot

    we’ve got to save the planet !!! including animals !!

  5. Phyllis McCarthy

    Why, all of a sudden, all I hear is Kill, Kill?? Time we stopped this sudden surge to get rid of all the wild life. What happened to all the intelligent people who use to come up with a result to care for and stop killing animals. They were put here for a reason.

  6. Judy Benedict

    Whose planet is it anyway? All living species need to co-exist. None of us
    will survive if we don’t continue to protect the non-human beings. I think we
    have met the enemy and it is……..US.

  7. Ligia Altuna

    This is the worst President! He’s getting away with stripping all the funding for wildlife and endangered species and he hasn’t been in office not even a year. I’ m terrified what will be left by the end of his term. Probably nothing! This very sad but we need to do something about this before it’s too late! 😥

  8. Jessie Vosti

    ESA saved the Bald Eagle when they disappeared from continental USA and we had to ask Canada to send us breeding pairs to repopulate bald eagles in the U.S.. Look at the eagle population now!!!

  9. Cindy Hoyle

    It is up to us to protect endangered species. Extinction is permanent. There are NO do-overs………

  10. Dowell Kathy

    Animals need support to survive and thrive. Please help them.

  11. Crystal Dunavant

    Wildlife is important link to our past, present and future. We can look around and see and watch the world around us. Animals ennhance our world. They balance the food chain in nature.

  12. Kari

    They have rights or should. We keep taking over their territory.
    They all need to continue to live. and are smart and live by their instincts to survive and live. We need to support their right to live.
    They are beautiful. If we destroy them. We are next.

  13. Anne Inmon

    I support the ESA and the Endangered Species Day, please do not do away with these very important protections

  14. Sevda Cenkci

    I like all animals. Please protect and support them. Do not deprive the world of them.

  15. David Hchtritt

    Wolves are one of God’s creations and deserve protection from those who would exploit them for their own warped desires -hunters and trappers. Keep them on safe. x

  16. Molly Davisson

    It makes me sad to know that in a few years, some of our animals will no longer be here. They will be extinct due to man’s selfishness. 😩

  17. Barbara J Stewart

    We must protect endangered species and their habitat!



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