National Wildlife Day is a September 4 holiday that brings awareness to the number of endangered animals on a global level, and acknowledges zoos and animal sanctuaries for their work. The day encourages citizens to fight for the rights of these endangered animals and learn which animals are close to disappearing forever.
There are more endangered animals than you might think. There are now 41,415 species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature with 16,306 of them threatened with extinction. This includes both endangered animals and endangered plants.
Some species are essentially extinct such as the Siamese crocodile, with less than 70 left in the wild, and the brown spider monkey, with less than 60 left in the wild. The worst off is the Northern white rhinoceros with only ten left in the world being protected in California and Czech Republic conservation centers, all under constant guard to protect them from poachers.
While some animals and plants are becoming closer to extinction, there are things that can be done to help. Here are some ways you can help wildlife species:
- Learn more about endangered species in your area. The first step needed to protect wildlife is by knowing which species need protection.
- Visit/get involved with national wildlife parks or other open spaces. By giving your support to these places, you can help them function and stay open.
- Be careful when driving. Some animals live in or near developed areas and are prone to cross the road. By driving at reasonable speeds and staying alert for animals, you can prevent damage to your car and the harm to an animal crossing the road.
- Recycle and buy sustainable products. Buy recycled paper, sustainable products like bamboo and Forest Stewardship Council wood products to protect forest species. Never buy furniture made from wood from rainforests. Recycle your cell phones, because a mineral used in cell phones and other electronics is mined in gorilla habitat. Minimize your use of palm oil since forests where tigers live are being cut down to plant palm plantations. Avoid any products made from threatened or endangered species.
Animals are unable to communicate their problems to us, so we need to look out for them. National Wildlife Day helps bring wildlife concerns to the forefront of people’s minds and should be a time to discuss how to protect animals on the verge of becoming extinct. If we don’t actively try to help the wildlife around us, some it might disappear forever.