Take Friday to Think About Endangered Species

woodpeckerLast week, the Senate passed a resolution declaring today, May 15, as Endangered Species Day. It’s a day for all of us wildlife enthusiasts (and those who are still joining the party) to learn about endangered species and their habitats.

I was talking with my colleague and fellow blogger Danielle this morning, and she brought up a great point:

“Everyone knows that panda bears and African elephants are endangered. But do we ever think enough about the Virginia big-eared bat?”

So I did some research and found more than twenty wildlife species that live in my neighborhood, all threatened with extinction.

Today, in honor of Endangered Species Day, @wildlifeaction is tweeting for the Red-cockaded woodpecker, native to the DC-area, and already extinct in nearby Maryland. #speciesday

What animal are you thinking of today?

I’m going to turn this over to Danielle (@NWF and @starfocus) now, so she can give you some more facts.

What does Endangered Species Day mean to me? Julia mentioned my pet peeve–everyone seems to know everything about endangered species that are cute, large and very often cuddly–but they also live very far away. I think it’s equally important to know about the animals in YOUR area. Yes I know, some people don’t think they have to care about endangered clams in Virginia–but the truth is–you should. These are the animals that we have an effect on and that have an effect on us.

The sad truth is that we can’t even go to America.gov and get an exclusive look at our nation’s endangered species, and believe me we have plenty of them to fill a page. But that’s ok. Now that we know there are plenty of local animals let’s work to protect them! NWF offers lots of ways.

I think that Endangered Species Day is about ALL of these animals, and that we should never underestimate the importance of protecting even animals far away.

Gray Bat USACEI want to challenge our readers to learn at least ONE new species that is endangered in your area. I think just by being aware of these animals and learning how to protect them, we can be better stewards of the earth. To me, Endangered Species Day reminds me that while it’s important to save what we love it’s equally important to protect what we may not understand.

Just a heads up: “There are currently 1317 species listed in the U.S.: 746 plants and 571 animals. To find out what endangered species are near you, and how you can help, please visit www.fws.gov/endangered.”

I’ll be tweeting for the Gray Bat!

At the National Wildlife Federation–we want to know about the endangered species you care about, whether you tweet it, share it on facebook, post a blog or even a comment below! Share with us a species you learned about or want to protect and if you are on twitter, hashtag it #speciesday. We look forward to hearing about them. (Also- be sure to join the fun even if you aren’t in the US! We would love to hear from you too)

If you are on Twitter,  help us spread the word! Copy and paste this into your “tweet” window:


I’m tweeting for (Enter your species here) with @NWF in honor of Endangered Species Day! #speciesday

Happy Endangered Species Day!