Recognize Endangered Species Day on May 16

By Robert Campbell, Sr. Manager, Conservation Strategies|February 21, 2014

What do a Brown pelican, Morelet’s crocodile, and Maguire daisy have in common?  They are all species which, due to their recovery in the last few years, have been “delisted” from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species List.  While regulation has no doubt aided in the recovery of these species, public awareness and education, too, have played a vital role in this rebound.

Entrance sign to the nearly 700-acre El Sobrante Wildlife Preserve in Corona, CA, where work is being done to protect the Stephens’s Kangaroo rat and other endangered species. Photo courtesy of Waste Management’s El Sobrante Landfill and Recycling Center

Entrance sign to the nearly 700-acre El Sobrante Wildlife Preserve in Corona, CA, where work is being done to protect the Stephens’s Kangaroo rat and other endangered species. Photo courtesy of Waste Management’s El Sobrante Landfill and Recycling Center

WHC certified programs around the country (and beyond) do their part to protect endangered species and reach out to nearby communities to make them aware of the importance of this work. One look at the Conservation Registry, the online database where you can find detailed information about the diversity of WHC programs, and you’ll see the work being doing to protect endangered species. For example, programs such as Waste Management’s El Sobrante Landfill & Wildlife Preserve in California and BP’s  Cooper River Site in South Carolina support the recovery of endangered species at their site by maintaining suitable habitat for and awareness of the Stephens’ kangaroo rat and red-cockaded woodpecker, respectively.

One group that has led the way for public awareness regarding endangered species is the Endangered Species Coalition, a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, education, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, business and community organizations working to protect the nation’s wild places. It does this through education, outreach and citizen involvement.

A major initiative of the Endangered Species Coalition is its annual observance of Endangered Species Day, which this year will be May 16.  Endangered Species Day is an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions they can take to help protect them. Started in 2006 by the United States Congress,  every year on the third Friday in May (and throughout the month), zoos, aquariums, parks, botanic gardens, wildlife refuges, museums, schools, community centers, conservation groups and other organizations throughout the country hold tours, special speaker presentations, exhibits, children’s activities and more to celebrate Endangered Species Day.

Celebrating Endangered Species Day on May 16 is an opportunity for WHC programs to highlight the work they are already doing to address endangered species.  We encourage WHC certified programs to recognize and celebrate this day.  For more information on how programs can participate, visit the Endangered Species Coalition’s website and download its free toolkit.

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