6 Ways to Celebrate Endangered Species Day

(Photo: Renaud Visage/Getty Images)

May 14, 2015· 2 MIN READ
Callie Spaide is Participant Media’s Manager of Digital Advocacy and Social Impact.

While not as well known as Thanksgiving or Christmas (or even Flag Day), Endangered Species Day has a special place for all of us here at TakePart. Let’s face it, we’ll probably never see commercials for “Endangered Species Day Blowout Sales” or buy Endangered Species Day cards for our grandmothers but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate by taking action to protect the species that need it most.

Below are some simple ways you can support the great work of nonprofits working to save our most endangered animals.

1. Tell Congress to Safeguard the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act is an incredibly successful piece of legislation: thanks to the law’s protection, animals like black-footed ferrets, grey wolves, grizzly bears, pelicans, and many others have come back from the brink of extinction. All those successes haven’t stopped critics from trying to dismantle the law; recently 5 bills have been introduced in the Senate that would undermine or diminish the Endangered Species Act. Stand with Endangered Species Coalition in urging the Senate to protect this law from future attacks!

(Photo:Nancy Nehring / Getty Images )

(Photo:Joel Sartore/Getty Images)

2. Tell FWS Director Dan Ashe to Respect Science and Protect Wolverines

Two years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that the few remaining wolverines in the lower 48 states would be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Under pressure from special interests in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, a recently leaked document shows that FWS scientists have been ordered to reverse their previous conclusions. Tell FWS President Dan Ashe to listen to his own experts and protect wolverines from extinction by listing them as endangered.

(Photo: Center for Biological Diversity/Darleen Ortlieb_ Frechen)

(Photo:Anna Tuzel/Getty Images)

3. Turn Down the Heat for Flying Squirrels

Rising temperatures, drier conditions and development are slowly changing the rare South California’s flying squirrel habitat, making it harder and harder for them find food. The Federal Government is currently considering whether the squirrel should be protected under the Endangered Species Act, which would protect the squirrel’s habitat from deforestation. Join the Center for Biological Diversity in urging the government to add the flying squirrel to the endangered species list!

(Photo:James R.D. Scott/Getty Images)

(Photo: Martin Harvey/WWF-Canon)

4. Demand an Immediate Status Review of Wolves in the Northern Rockies!

Grey wolves in the Northern Rockers were removed from the Endangered Species List because Fish and Wildlife Services believed that Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana would manage their wolf populations responsibly. However, in the last couple years Idaho has declared a war on wolves, sanctioning the killing of more than 1,000.

Join the Defenders of Wildlife in urging Fish and Wildlife Service to do a complete review of the status of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies to protect them from unchecked killing.

5. Tell NMFS: Give Sperm Whales the Protections They Need

Mile-long drift gill nets off the coast of Maine intended to catch swordfish are instead ensnaring endangered sperm whales. Join Oceana in demanding that the National Marine Fisheries Service enact permanent regulations to protect these endangered whales.

6. Act Now to End Elephant Slaughter

One elephant is slaughtered approximately every 15 minutes for ivory trade, which, according to reports, fuels organized crime and terrorism worldwide. As the world’s second largest market for ivory, the U.S. is there complicit in those deaths. The Obama Administration is trying to solve this crisis by taking a firm stance against the ivory trade but now their proposed rules are coming under fire. Support the World Wildlife Fund in calling on the Fish and Wildlife Service to stand with the Obama administration’s pledge to stamp out the ivory trade.