What is Endangered Species Day?
The 11th annual international Endangered Species Day will be held on May 20, 2016. On that day and throughout May, tours, exhibits, special presentations, children’s activities, film showings, habitat clean-up and other restoration projects, and related activities will be held at colleges and universities, zoos, aquariums, parks, wildlife refuges, and other locations in the U.S. and other countries. This is an ideal opportunity for college students to learn about endangered species conservation and raise awareness on campus and in their community.
Benefits of Participating
Why participate in Endangered Species Day? In addition to generating awareness of endangered species conservation and the importance of individual actions, you will be making a difference on your campus and for wildlife and the environment. You will also have the opportunity to:
- Get outdoors and get some exercise by protecting and restoring habitat on campus and in your community
- Make new friends by partnering with campus and community organizations to celebrate Endangered Species Day
- Generate support for your campus eco and wildlife clubs
- Gain leadership skills to include on your resume
Opportunities to Take Action for Endangered Species
There are numerous ways to be involved. For example, is your campus mascot an endangered species? If yes, launch a campaign to educate the campus community about threats and solutions.
Do you have endangered or threatened species on or near your campus? Then work with your facilities staff and/or campus administrators to protect and restore their habitat on campus.
If there are threatened or endangered species elsewhere in your county, you can work with environmental (National Wildlife Federation Affiliate state partners, Audubon or Sierra Club chapter) or other community organizations to protect and restore their habitat.
You can also:
- Organize an Endangered Species Day fair on campus or a display in the library or other appropriate location.
- Participate in a local Earth Day event, helping to promote Endangered Species Day.
- Invite a local biologist or other expert to speak on campus.
- Plant a milkweed garden to expand Monarch butterfly habitat.
- Encourage the school newspaper to feature an article about Endangered Species Day.
It would be great if you hold an event/other activity on Endangered Species Day (May 20) or that weekend. However, if your spring/semester session is over, you could also schedule an activity in mid-late April.
In addition, you can still organize an off-campus event with a group of other students on Endangered Species Day.
The Endangered Species Day Toolkit features a variety of resources to help you plan an event, including stickers, bookmarks, fliers, and other materials, many of which can be downloaded and printed. Visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org. You can also explore how colleges and universities across the nation have protected and restored habitat on campus for wildlife at NWF’s Habitat and Wildlife. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can e-mail Kristy Jones at National Wildlife Federation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, you should be recognized for your participation in Endangered Species Day.
- Be sure to register your event on the Endangered Species Day website Event Directory.
- Get a certification for your environmental leadership through NWF EcoLeaders, a career and leadership development program for college students at NWFEcoLeaders.org.
- This is also an ideal opportunity for experiential learning. Find out if you can get credit for your leadership actions by incorporating your actions into a class, capstone project, or internship.
(National Wildlife Federation’s EcoLeaders Program is a proud partner of Endangered Species Day. In addition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), numerous conservation, education, community and youth organizations also support Endangered Species Day, including the Girl Scouts USA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the North American Association for Environmental Education, Sierra Club, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association, Center for Biological Diversity, Jane Goodall Institute, National Audubon Society and Defenders of Wildlife.)