1. Take a virtual tour of a national park. Even though many of us are stuck inside, we can still visit some of the country’s most beautiful places without ever leaving the couch, thanks to Google Earth’s virtual tours of 31 U.S. national parks. Take a virtual hike for Endangered Species Day and appreciate some of our most iconic wild lands.
2. Start a book about endangered species. You can find a full list of suggested reading here. Many of these books can be borrowed electronically from your local library or purchased as e-books to read on your computer, tablet, e-reader, or phone.
3. Watch a movie about endangered species. There are a wide variety of documentaries that do a great job of portraying the threats our endangered species face today. We particularly recommend Racing Extinction, Love and Bananas, DamNation, and Dammed to Extinction.
4. Watch an episode of a TV show about wildlife. Shows like Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Our Planet do a great job of showcasing the wonders of wildlife in our world, and many episodes are appropriate and engaging for kids and adults. Celebrate biodiversity by watching an episode of one of these shows on Endangered Species Day.
5. Post to social media. Social media buzz helps raise awareness of the threats endangered species face and importance of protecting them. Use this link to follow easy instructions to Tweet about Endangered Species Day, or post on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Just be sure to include the tag #EndangeredSpeciesDay.
6. Write a letter to the editor about the Endangered Species Act. Letters to the editor raise awareness of the importance of the Endangered Species Act to the public and ensure elected officials know that we want them to continue to protect this landmark legislation. You can use this guide to write a powerful letter.
7. Plant a pollinator garden in your backyard. A pollinator garden has native flowers and grasses that provide critical food and habitat for bees, butterflies, and other species. You can learn more about pollinator gardens from the Xerces Society by clicking here, and more about native plants in your region by clicking here.
8. Help scientists sort, classify, and review wildlife data. Through the website Zooniverse, everyday citizens can help researchers working on large projects to manage their data. This is a great way to support scientists who are doing important research on wildlife and their habitat. Check out Zooniverse’s “Biology” projects that need citizen assistance by clicking here.
9. Start a National Geographic course on conservation. National Geographic offers a range of free, online courses on topics such as ocean conservation, illegal wildlife trafficking, and more. Start one of the informative courses on Endangered Species Day!
10. Visit a mural. Our map of Endangered Species Day events includes more than a dozen public murals of endangered species you could visit, and there are hundreds of other wildlife murals that aren’t listed. Just be sure that visiting a local mural complies with state and federal public health guidelines around social distancing.
Specifically for kids:
11. Start a quest with Project Hero. Originally designed for classroom use but easily adapted for remote learning, Project Hero is a free, online program that leads students on a learning journey to explore concepts through the lens of the species or ecosystem and culminates in the design and implementation of a project that makes a meaningful difference. Try out the quests focused on Pollinators, Soil and Soil Health, and the Wolf Reintroduction Ballot Initiative in Colorado.
12. Do an arts & crafts activity. This could be drawing, painting, or making a collage of endangered species, building a diorama of a species and its habitat, or doing a craft with recycled materials. Art is a great way to learn about and celebrate endangered species.
13. Tune in to Endangered Species Story Time. Every morning Monday, May 11th through Friday, May 15th, we’ll be reading aloud a children’s book featuring endangered species. We’ll be reading these fun and educational stories live on our Facebook page. Tune in by visiting our Facebook page at 9am Pacific Time / 12pm Eastern Time each day.
14. Do the Endangered Species Day Activity Book. This activity book can be printed out and has coloring pages of endangered species, including educational information about where the species live and what threats they face. The activity book also includes a maze, crossword puzzle, and word search. You can find it by clicking here.
15. Watch a family movie that features endangered species. For example, The Lorax, based on the famous children’s book by Dr. Seuss, is a great family-friendly film about the importance of protecting endangered trees. The Lion King and Finding Nemo also feature lots of endangered species, and could be great ways to start conversations with kids about the importance of protecting our wildlife.