Endangered species are those creatures that are facing the risk of extinction. Half of all species on the IUCN list are endangered because of human activities.
Climate change, loss of habitat due to deforestation, contamination of water bodies, and poaching are leading to several species becoming endangered across the world. In a bid to celebrate, learn, and take action to protect these endangered species, David Robinson, author, and the Endangered Species Coalition in 2006 established the third Friday in May as the Endangered Species Day. This year, the Endangered Species Day would be observed on May 20.
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What are endangered species?
The endangered species are those animals, insects, plants, and even micro-organisms that are facing the risk of extinction. These species are still around but may not survive for long if steps to protect them are not taken on an urgent basis. When the last of the species is gone, they are gone for good.
Some of the endangered species are bald eagle, the alligator, snow leopards, polar bear, Asiatic lion, and the grey wolf among others.
Why the need for Endangered Species Day?
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, at least 40 percent of animals, insects, and plants are at risk of extinction across the world. To prevent these species from going extinct and create awareness, the Endangered Species Day is observed.
The day is designed to help people come together to find innovative ways to solve the environmental problems and save endangered species.
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To mark the day, special events like bird walks, nature hikes, garden plantings, clean-ups in zoos, aquarium events, wildlife mural tours, educational talks, and webinars are organised by wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups, non-profits, and individuals around the world.
How can you help save endangered species?
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, half of all species on the IUCN list are endangered because of human activities. Therefore, there is a need to acknowledge mistakes and check wrong practices that drive endangered species towards extinction.
Here are steps that can be taken on an individual level to save endangered species
1. Don’t purchase illegal wildlife products, such as ivory or leopard hide.
2. Read about endangered species and spread awareness.
3. If you can, donate to a conservation group or wildlife /wild organisation.
4. Plant trees.
First Published: IST