20th. May: National Endangered Species Day.

Every year on the third Friday in May National Endangered Species Day is observed annually to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation and restoration efforts for all imperiled species. Endangered Species Act 1973, focuses on the protection of wildlife and threatened species.

We live in a world full of many animals (including this BLOGGER !!!!!!!), insects, plants, and creatures that are approaching risk of extinction – or are so close to extinction – that their species need help immediately.

When a species is defined as endangered, its numbers are unusually low – in the last few thousands, hundreds, or even tens. And when the last of the species is gone, they are gone for good.

This day was created to keep us aware of how fragile the existence of some animals, plants, and insects is – and, most importantly, reminds us to take the time to learn about why it’s so important to protect endangered species from any further harm.

History of National Endangered Species Day

Since time began, there have been endangered species. Perhaps one of the earliest and most learned about extinctions in history is that of the dinosaurs. However, an endangered species is one which is still in the world today, but may not be much longer if the right steps aren’t taken.

The International Union decides the status of ‘endangered’ for the Conservation of Nature. According to the IUCN, at least 40% of animals, insects, and plants are at risk of extinction across the world.

Some ways of helping endangered species have included captive breeding, which sees endangered or rare species in captivity encouraged to breed to improve their numbers in the wild.

Reasons for endangerment are varied – this may be down to environmental changes, overhunting by predators, poaching, the changing or destruction of habits by humans, or natural disasters, to name a few.

The first National Endangered Species Day was held in 2006, but there’s been official recognition of the issue for far longer than that. Laws have been on the books for more than forty years designed to protect species. In some countries, for instance, rules forbid economic development if it puts a particular species at risk of extinction. Many stipulations also prevent people from developing areas that are of exceptional ecological significance, such as bird breeding grounds and diverse swampland.

At root, National Endangered Species Day is designed to help people learn more about the environmental issues that the planet faces today. It isn’t about getting in people’s faces or even activism. Instead, it is to come together to find creative, win-win ways to solve the environmental problems that we have and protect the natural world. After all, we must all live in it!

At Mysore zoo photo: N S Ramnath

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