May 15

U.S. Celebrating Endangered Species Day on Friday

Over 130 Events Planned at Zoos, Nature Centers and other Venues

Washington, DC – On Friday, May 18, thousands of Americans are gathering to participate in Endangered Species Day events across the country, in recognition of our nation’s commitment to protecting and restoring our disappearing wildlife. This is the 13th annual international Endangered Species Day, which occurs on the third Friday of May, celebrating our wildlife and wild places.

“Endangered Species Day celebrates America’s vision,” stated Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition, primary sponsor of Endangered Species Day. “When we passed the Endangered Species Act, we affirmed America’s commitment to protecting our natural heritage for future generations.”

On May 18 (and throughout the month) wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, parks, botanic gardens, schools, libraries, museums, and community groups will hold tours, exhibits, classroom discussions, habitat restoration projects, children’s programs, field trips and other activities. This year’s events range from California to Maine, from Florida to Oregon, Montana and Washington, D.C. and elsewhere throughout United States, as well as in Peru, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Mexico, Canada and the U.K. Highlights include:

Special presentations at Rocky Mountain, Yosemite and other National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.
Demonstrations, curator talks, tours and other activities at numerous zoos and aquariums, including the Los Angeles Zoo’s “Wild for the Planet,” Kansas City Zoo’s “Zootastic Learning Fest,” “Celebrate Endangered Species Day at Smithsonian’s National Zoo,” and Franklin Park Zoo’s “Be a Hero for Endangered Species.”
Milkweed and pollinator garden plantings to expand monarch/native pollinator habitat in Maine, Montana, Washington, Idaho, California, Indiana, Wisconsin, Maryland, Idaho, Alabama and New Jersey.

Interactive activities for individuals and families, such as Horseshoe Crab Tagging (Middle Township, NJ), the Pollinator Parade and Festival (Falmouth, ME), and the 5K Race Against Extinction (Huntington Beach, CA).
Nationwide “No Straw” campaign, which encourages people to sign a pledge to give up plastics and other single use plastics for the month of May.

Endangered Species Day was first created by U.S. Senate in 2006, when it unanimously designated May 11, 2006 as the first ever “Endangered Species Day,” to encourage “the people of the United States to become educated about, and aware of, threats to species, success stories in species recovery, and the opportunity to promote species conservation worldwide.”

In 2009 the Coalition began incorporating a national youth art contest into the Endangered Species Day event. Each year, nearly two thousand students of all ages submit illustrations of their favorite endangered species to contest judges. The top winners in each age group are selected for the publication in the annual Endangered Species Art calendar, and the grand prizewinner travels to Washington, D.C. on Endangered Species Day to receive an award. This year’s grand prize winner is 9 year old, Brandon Xie, who will receive his award at a ceremony on May 16.

“We have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of nature,” said Huta. “The Endangered Species Act is a declaration to the world that we will not rob our children of the opportunity to watch a humpback whale break through the surface of the ocean or to hear the cry of the bald eagle.”

More than 1,300 imperiled species of plants, fish and wildlife in the United States have been protected by the Endangered Species Act, and only ten have gone extinct, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Additionally, a 2012 study found that 90 percent of protected species are recovering at the pace expected in their scientific recovery plans.

In addition to the Endangered Species Coalition, 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 have also supported and participated in Endangered Species Day, including the Girl Scouts USA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the North American Association for Environmental Education, Native Plant Conservation Campaign, Garden Clubs of America, Sierra Club, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association, Earth Day Network, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society and Defenders of Wildlife.

For more information on Endangered Species Day, including event locations and a variety of educational resource materials, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.

2 Comments on U.S. Celebrating Endangered Species Day on Friday

  1. Cathy Fuller says:

    The endangered species act is the best way to keep a species surviving however there are too many anti wildlife members of Congress right now, who are trying to gut it and get rid of too many species in this country!!!! It’s completely unAmerican, and they are supposed to be representing us, but they are not, they are representing the 1% as usual !!

  2. Mary Lou Loesch says:

    Congress needs to represent their constituents, not the bus misses that benefit by eliminating endangered species.

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