National Endangered Species Day

Adult Gray WolfNational Endangered Species Day is celebrated on the third Friday of every May, and that makes this year’s celebration today. This year also happens to be the 15th anniversary of the holiday. The purpose of National Endangered Species Day is to learn and educate others about Earth’s endangered species and what we can do to make sure they continue to survive. Reading and sharing this blog post is a great way to start, by the way! Here are some facts about endangered species and how to protect them that you may not have heard before.

Bald Eagle1. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 allowed for the classification of certain species in America to be deemed endangered or at risk, and laws were put in place around those species to protect their land and to stop hunting. This act is often criticized by hunters, poachers, and business owners who feel that it’s restricting their land value or access to drilling sites. Luckily members of these groups have not stopped it from doing good, such as in the case of even our national animal the bald eagle. Habitat loss threatened the bald eagle before 1973, and now their numbers are plentiful and healthy, so the species has been removed from the endangered species list.

2. One way of preserving species is through cryopreservation. While this might seem like something out of science fiction, it’s actually being widely implemented as a way to keep cells or embryos of endangered species alive. In the San Diego zoo, over 300 of the most endangered species have been preserved. As of now, the storage potential for these samples seems indefinite.

Baby Cheetah3. Some species, like some birds and Tasmanian devils, are bred in captivity in an effort to improve their numbers and hopefully return them to the wild. Captive breeding programs are vital to the survival of many such species, but there can also be risks involved for the animals. For example, certain types of disease may become amplified in captive populations, or the genetic variation in a captive group is too limited to prevent inbreeding. In the wild, this is sometimes the very danger we’re trying to save the species from, though, as in the case of cheetahs. Wild cheetah populations can sometimes become insular and in danger of inbreeding, so captive programs are necessary to diversify their numbers.

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We hope you enjoyed and learned something. Let us know in a comment down below what you’re doing to celebrate today, or anything you do on other days of the year to help endangered animals. We publish a new blog every Tuesday and Friday, so until next time, thank you for reading and goodbye!

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