Happy National Wildlife Day! Founded by Conservationist and Animal Expert Colleen Paige, National Wildlife Day was created to honor the legendary Steve Irwin and to build awareness for the numerous endangered animals, both nationally and globally, that desperately need our help. Today is a day to honor Earth’s wildlife, get informed about what we can do to help, and fight for them in their time of need. How will you help save Earth’s endangered species?
Did you know these great American animals are endangered?
- Red and Gray Wolves
Native of the Eastern United States, the Red Wolf is listed as one of the most critically endangered species in North America. Factors such as parasite infestations, environmental diseases, habitat loss because of human development, climate change and illegal killings by hunters have led to their critical state. Despite great efforts made by wildlife defenders and conservationists, there are only 50 of these species that remain in the wildlife.
Gray Wolves are also listed on the endangered species list. This species was once found all throughout the United States, but their habitats have since been reduced to Alaska, the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes region. Wolves are one of the most vital species to the ecosystem, as they help control deer and elk populations which benefits other plant and animal species. It is imperative that we help honor and save these great animals.
- New England Cottontail
Who doesn’t love Peter Cottontail? Well, he needs your help! New England Cottontails live in parts of New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire, however the once bountiful population of New England Cottontail are now becoming critically endangered. Habitat loss due to human development is one of the most critical threats to this important (and rather cute) American species, and conservationists are working hard to create favorable habitats so that these Cottontail can survive.
- Rusty Patched Bumblebee
For the first time in U.S. history, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared that a species of bumblebees are vulnerable to extinction. In recent years, there has been a severe decrease in bee populations throughout North America. This is largely due to habitat degradation, pathogens and the widespread use of pesticides on plants. Rusty Patched Bumblebees used to have large populations all over the United States, but their population has since declined by 88 percent, and are now reported to be living in only 13 U.S. states.
- California Condors
California Condors also rank as one of the most critically endangered species in North America. With a wing span of 9 and a half feet, California Condors are the largest land birds in North America, and as vultures they are crucial to the ecosystem. In the 1900s, California Condors were on the brink of extinction, with only 22 of these fascinating birds left in the world. With extreme efforts, conservationists captured these birds to fight off their extinction. California Condors were reintroduced into the wild in 1992, however there are only 435 of these amazing creatures left in the world.
So, what will you do to help?
To learn more about endangered species, climate change, and the latest news regarding wildlife conservation, check out the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service here: https://www.fws.gov
There are also a number of great organizations to donate to and get involved in! Check out some of these:
The World Wildlife Fund: https://www.worldwildlife.org
The Wildlife Conservation Society: http://www.wcs.org
The Nature Conservancy: https://www.nature.org/
The Natural Resource Defense Council: https://www.nrdc.org
The National Audubon Society: http://www.audubon.org
Any effort makes a difference. Get informed, get involved, and help save our threatened wildlife!