The Extinction Crisis is Growing Worldwide

Day 276 – They were on the endangered species list. Sadly, they have not been seen in the wild in a long time. It’s feared they are now extinct as a result of habitat destruction and climate change.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has officially proposed to take 23 plants and animals off the endangered species list and declare them extinct. Before this recent announcement, eleven species had been removed from the list as a result of extinction, in the past 50 years.

In an article written by Katharine Gammon for The Guardian, she writes about the current extinction crisis.

According to the UN, 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history. Declining habitat, climate change and pollution are all factors in the increasing number of extinctions.

The species on the list, now officially extinct, include 10 types of bats and birds found only on islands in the Pacific, as well as eight types of freshwater mussels from riverbeds across the eastern US.

One of the final members of the Kauaʻi ʻōʻō bird died in 1987. He lived his last days in captivity, singing a mating song to a female that would never come. His song was recorded for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.”

There’s still a chance that these plants and animals may not make the list of extinct species. The public has 60 days to comment. Many believe that the fight for these species is not over and people need to continue protecting their habitats. As John Fitzpatrick, a Cornell University bird biologist said, ““little is gained and much is lost” with an extinction declaration.

Tomorrow, hoping a little incentive will encourage people to recycle.

Help Save Wildlife

Day 247 – An endangered species is an animal or plant threatened with extinction. A few of the factors that may endanger a species includes overhunting or overharvesting, habitat loss, pollution and human-wildlife conflict. There are over 500 species of wildlife that are currently endangered.

Here are 10 things you can do today to help protect and preserve wildlife (shared by endangered.org)

  1. Create a backyard wildlife habitat. Put bird feeders and other wildlife attractants, such as bird houses and baths.
  2. Establish a pollinator garden with native vegetation in your yard. Native plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Attracting native insects like bees and butterflies can help pollinate your plants. Avoid planting invasive species. Non-native plants can overtake and destroy native species on which animals depend.
  3. Minimize use of herbicides and pesticides. Herbicides and pesticides are hazardous pollutants that can affect wildlife at many levels. Reduce use of fertilizer. Excess fertilizer will likely wash into streams and rivers and may lead to amphibian deformities and deaths.
  4. Reduce your use of water in your home and garden so that animals that live in or near water can have a better chance of survival. Don’t dump paint, oil or antifreeze or other chemicals, which pollute the water and can harm people and wildlife. Keep litter and pet waste out of the street drain, which often washes into rivers, lakes or the ocean.
  5. Place decals on windows to deter bird collisions. Millions of birds die every year because of collisions with windows. You can help reduce the number of collisions simply by placing decals on the windows in your home and office.
  6. Slow down when driving. Many animals live in developed areas and this means they must navigate a landscape full of human hazards. So when you’re out and about, slow down and keep an eye out for animals. Don’t litter because trash can attract wildlife to the roadside.
  7. Recycle and buy sustainable products. Buy recycled paper and sustainable products like Forest Stewardship Council wood products and shade-grown coffee to save rainforests.
  8. Don’t litter/otherwise destroy sensitive habitats, which may be home to native/visiting species that are endangered or threatened.
  9. Never purchase products made from endangered species like ivory, coral and tortoise shell. Buy exotic plants and animals only from reputable stores. 
  10. Learn about endangered species in your area. Teach your friends and family about the wonderful wildlife, birds, fish and plants that live near you. The first step to protecting endangered species is learning about how interesting and important they are.

On this National Wildlife Day take some time to appreciate and care for the amazing wildlife that surrounds us everyday.