May 17, 2013, marks the 8th annual national Endangered Species Day, with special events and other programs throughout the United States to recognize conservation efforts aimed at helping the country’s imperiled species. This year also commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.
Endangered Species Day is celebrated on the third Friday in May. It honors the importance of protecting America’s threatened, endangered and at-risk species; highlights success stories of species recovery; and demonstrates everyday actions people can take to protect our disappearing wildlife and last remaining open spaces. Endangered Species Day was started in 2006 by the United States Senate and is a celebration of our nation’s imperiled plants and wildlife and wild places, with an emphasis on success stories of species recovery.
“Endangered Species Day offers us an opportunity to recognize the Act’s good works and the work of all those committed to it,” says U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.
For 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has helped our nation protect the wild things and wild places, ensuring that our children’s children and future generations can see species such as the bald eagle, the black-footed ferret and the American alligator.
To commemorate Endangered Species Day, national wildlife refuges, parks, botanical gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups and conservation organizations are holding tours, exhibits, restoration projects, children’s programs, field trips and other activities today and throughout the month. In Washington, D.C., the Endangered Species Day open house takes place at the United States Botanic Garden.
Learn more about Endangered Species Day and what you can do to help protect endangered species:
- Visit stopextinction.org
- 10 Easy Things You Can Do at Home to Protect Endangered Species
- ARKive is showcasing some of the less well known endangered species on Endangered Species Day
- Report Lists 100 of the World’s Most Endangered Species (posted in 2012)