“As Americans, we can be incredibly proud of our promise to keep species from going extinct,” said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition, primary sponsor of Endangered Species Day. “The Endangered Species Act has been more than 99 percent successful at preventing extinction. That is quite a track record, and Endangered Species Day is a chance for all of us to join in celebrating this incredible success.”
Said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, “Endangered Species Day offers us an opportunity to recognize the uncertain future faced by many of our nation’s most iconic species and to work together to preserve our priceless natural heritage. For over 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has played an integral role in wildlife conservation and has ensured that future generations can continue to enjoy the species that surround us today.”
National wildlife refuges, parks, botanical gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups and conservation organizations hold tours, exhibits, restoration projects, classroom discussions, field trips and other activities on Endangered Species Day and throughout the month. This year’s events range throughout the country and include the Endangered Species Day festival at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, habitat restoration projects in California, New Mexico, Oregon, Colorado and Wisconsin and special programs at more than 100 zoos and aquariums across the country.
“[The Association of Zoos and Aquariums] is proud to be a partner in Endangered Species Day as it is more important than ever for us to work together to help raise awareness about the ever-increasing threats that endangered species are facing in their natural ranges,” said association President and CEO Jim Maddy. “Each year, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums collectively contribute $160 million to directly support 2,650 field conservation projects in more than 130 countries. AZA is also dedicated to engaging the 182 million people who visit AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums each year to help save species on Endangered Species Day and every day.”
Started in 2006 by the U.S. Senate, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s imperiled plants and wildlife and wild places, with an emphasis on success stories of species recovery and the everyday actions people can take to protect our disappearing wildlife and last remaining open spaces. The Endangered Species Act has prevented hundreds of listed species from going extinct. Co-administered by the service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the purpose of the act is to conserve imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.
Information: visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org