Helping U.S. Endangered Animals Now
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are 41,415 endangered plant and animal species and 16,306 of them are nearing extinction. And the US alone has over 1,400 endangered plant and animal species. The best way to fight on behalf of endangered species is to get involved and take action. Here are some awesome and easy ways on how to advocate for and truly help endangered species. Most of these suggestions link to U.S.-focused. Stay tuned for a future article focused on global endangered species!
Invest in your education
Taking classes, attending workshops, or trainings is a great avenue to learn more about wildlife conservation and management. Or, you can teach about conservation and get a teaching certification provided by the Wildlife Life Society. Learn more about wildlife conservation in your area by checking out the US Fish and Wildlife’s database and treasure trove of information. Also, there are weekly animals news sources like Fanimal’s Creature Feature or Dawnwatch that sometimes delivers information about endangered species.
Sign a petition
Sign petitions that protect wildlife and help raise awareness by sharing the petition on social media. Take a stand for wildlife and publicly pledge your commitment. The Humane Society provides different petitions online that you can sign along with signing up for alerts you can have delivered to your phone. These alerts update you hear the latest news and learn about upcoming events.
Write a letter
Write a letter to influential figures like state senators and relevant federal organizations to convey how important endangered species are to you. Though political figures are aware of the problem of increasing endangered species, it could be beneficial to tell them how it personally affects you. There are organizations like Defenders of Wildlife that have letter templates to equip you and inspire you to write.
Ban herbicides and pesticides
Herbicides and pesticides often take a long time to degrade into soil or process throughout the food chain. Animals like hawks, owls, and coyotes can be harmed if they eat animals that have been poisoned by pesticides. Other groups of animals like amphibians are vulnerable and are prone to suffer from chemical pollutants if consumed in their habitat, not to mention the invertebrate life we don’t often see below the soil Birds or small mammals eat the poisoned insects or worms, and while they might not be killed outright, it can interfere with their bodily systems, such as reproduction. Or it builds up in their system and can affect their overall health and reproductive functions.
Encourage plant life!
Planting native flowers, bushes, trees, or any other plant in your garden can help rebalance the ecosystem of animals in your area. Also, it can push back invasive species from entering the ecosystem as well. The US Plants Database has lists of species that are right to add to your garden or neighborhood where you live.
One of the best ways to help endangered animals is to protect their habitats. Volunteering at a wildlife refuge in your state or area can contribute to habitats staying preserved through time, energy and efforts. To find a refuge that is close to you, check out National Wildlife Refuge System for more information.
Avoid illegal products
Avoid products that come from endangered animals. Wildlife trading operations are kept in business through consumer demand of ivory, sea turtle shells, shark fins, and beluga caviar. With phone apps like Wildlife Witness, you can instantly report products that come from illegal wildlife trade. And when shopping, look for sustainable products that are made from bamboo or recycled materials to avoid potential illegal sales.
Pick up trash
Plastic bags, plastic material of any kind, smaller items, fishing line, or anything that could be confused for food are all hazardous for animals. Litter can also affect water quality in lakes, ponds, or marshes and leak into soil which causes groundwater pollution. By picking up litter and trash in local areas, it can save lives of animals, better protect natural environments, and prevent animals from becoming endangered.
Protest certain types of hunting
Though the 1973’s Endangered Species Act was created as a result of animal populations decreasing through hunting and other threats such as habitat loss, dozens of animals globally are still becoming endangered through hunting. If you live in an area where endangered animals are still hunted, you can contact the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service or state wildlife agency to learn what to do, and post no hunting signs on your land if applicable. Many types of hunting or methods for hunting are controversial. You can learn more about the ESA at this US Fish and Wildlife portal.
Sources: Endangered Earth, Traffic, Conserve Energy Future, Sierra Club, Endangered Species Coalition, Last Chance