National Endangered Species Day Date in the current year: May 17, 2024

National Endangered Species Day National Endangered Species Day, also known as Endangered Species Day, is observed annually on the third Friday of May. It was created to raise awareness of thousands of species that are threatened by extinction and consolidate conservation efforts.

An endangered species is a species that is very likely to become extinct in the wild in the foreseeable future. A species can be endangered either worldwide or in a particular country or political jurisdiction like the EU. According to the IUCN Red List, more than 42,100 species were threatened with extinction as of 2023, of which 16,493 were classified as vulnerable, 16,364 as endangered, and 9,251 as critically endangered.

There are many reasons why an animal or plant may become at risk. Factors that contribute to species decline include habitat loss and degradation (more often than not caused by human presence) and resulting genetic and reproductive isolation, natural disasters, climate change, pollution, over harvesting and excessive trade, climate change, invasive species, and disease.

Many countries have laws protecting threatened species which can create protected areas, restrict land development, forbid hunting, or implement other protective measures. For example, the primary law in the US for protecting endangered species is the Endangered Species Act of 1973. It was passed by the 93rd United States Congress to protect critically imperiled species from extinction.

The law provided the framework for wildlife protection and spurred conservation efforts. Since its enactment, more than 50 species have been de-listed as endangered due to recovery. However, there is still much to be done because as of January 2019, there were almost 1,500 species on the US threatened and endangered lists.

National Endangered Species Day was founded by David Robinson and the Endangered Species Coalition, and unanimously approved by the United States Senate in 2006. Today, it is supported and endorsed by numerous conservation organizations in the United States and abroad. Since the observance of National Endangered Species Day has spread beyond its country of origin, the word “national” is often dropped from its name.

Endangered Species Day encourages everyone to learn as much as they can about various animals and plants that are in danger of becoming extinct and do as much as they can to help save endangered species. To reinforce its message, conservation groups and wildlife organizations, zoos and aquariums, wildlife sanctuaries, botanical gardens, schools, libraries, nonprofits, community groups, and other stakeholders across the nation organize various events and activities for children and adults.

There are many ways to observe Endangered Species Day. You can attend an Endangered Species Day event near you or even organize an event of your own, donate to or volunteer for a conservation organization of your choice, symbolically adopt an endangered animal, take a pledge to not buy illegal or unsustainable wildlife products, and spread the word on social media with the hashtags #NationalEndangeredSpeciesDay and #EndangeredSpeciesDay. Remember that even the seemingly small things count!

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