Saving Endangered Animals During and After Earth Week
April 22th is Earth Day, and the entire surrounding week is known as Earth Week. It’s a week to reflect on how best to protect and secure a future for our planet, and all the creatures and endangered animals who dwell upon its surface.
You may think that one person can’t make much of a difference, but that’s where you’d be wrong. Take our endangered species, for example. Many people think there isn’t much they can do as an individual, but there are actually plenty of things you can do right now to help save these imperiled creatures. Here are the top ten ways to help save endangered animals today!
10. Buy Smart – Avoid Harmful & Black Market Products
Over development, over consumption and habitat destruction are a major factor in endangering many animals. Buy ensuring you buy smart and don’t support companies who are actively causing harm to animal habitats and the environment, you can help save endangered species by preserving their homes. Do your research! Learn about the companies you buy from and where their products come from.
Don’t buy items made of wood from rainforest trees or endangered trees. Avoid companies that pollute the local water supply. When traveling to an exotic place, you may be tempted to buy some exotic souvenirs, but educate yourself on items that may be illegal or trafficked, like ivory.
Look at which companies are taking steps to reduce pollution and promote sustainability, and support them. Not to toot our own horn here, but at Safari Ltd, our products feature minimal packaging to reduce waste, and what packaging we do utilize is reusable, recyclable or biodegradable.
For a sustainable toy product, you may want to check out our BiOBUDDi line of building blocks. These toys are made from existing sugarcane waste that is converted to a material known as “Green PE”, so no additional clearing of forests or habitat is necessary in their production. They are also carbon neutral, and virtually indistinguishable from traditional plastic building blocks.
9. Get in Touch with Your Representatives
Contact your state and local representatives and let them know how important saving endangered species is to you. One of the main ways our elected officials decide what causes to champion is by listening to the people who are responsible for keeping them in office. Let them know how you feel!
Ask what they are doing to help protect native animals and stop habitat destruction, pollution and other harmful activities that negatively affect endangered wildlife. Write letters, make phone calls - demand that they develop a plan to focus on protecting endangered native species and limit harmful activities.
8. Avoid Harmful Pesticides & Herbicides that Damage Native Plants & Wildlife
Some pesticides and herbicides might do a good job of killing weeds, but they can have lasting harmful effects on native wildlife. Beyond the potential harm they can do to native plants, the chemicals in these pesticides can also seep into the soil and last a long time.
Once in the soil, these chemicals can spread throughout the food chain and cause damage to small animals like amphibians and mammals, as well as the larger predator animals that eat them. Limiting or avoiding the use of these can help save the endangered creatures in your area.
7. Learn Local – Volunteer at a Wildlife Center or Visit a State or National Park
One of the best things you can do to help endangered animals is to educate yourself. Find a local wildlife center in need of volunteers and offer your time. They can teach you all about the struggles faced by local endangered species, all while you’re helping them directly protect these animals.
Find a national or state park in your area and take a trip. Learn about the local endangered wildlife in the visitor’s center, or talk to a park ranger or official and find out more information about how you can help. Plus, you get to experience the outdoors and maybe encounter some of these animals in their native habitat!
While it may be difficult to do in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consider making a list of organizations you’d like to check out or places you’d like to visit once the pandemic has passed and restrictions are eased.
6. Plant Native – Help Replenish the Local Ecosystem
The native wildlife in your area rely on native plants for many things, including food and shelter. By helping to replenish the native plants in your area, you’ll be providing a valuable service to the endangered animals who need them.
Planting native plants also helps attract pollinators like bees and other insects, which are one of the most important foundations of a healthy ecosystem.
Planting native species can also help offset damage done by invasive, non-native species, which have a tendency to invade and overrun local populations of plants and animals. Give the home team a leg-up!
5. Drive Carefully!
This may seem overly simplistic, but one of the easiest and most effective things you and your family can do is just slow down when you’re behind the wheel.
Roads present a unique hazard to endangered wildlife. Often, roads are constructed without much thought for how it might negatively affect the local animal population. Many times, there are not effective measures built-in to allow animals to safely traverse the street, which may cut a path right through their natural habitat.
Car strikes are a major issue facing many endangered animals. By being more aware, driving carefully, and reducing your speed, you can ensure there’s one less dangerous automobile out their on the road.
4. Support Accredited Zoos & Aquariums
This might seem like an odd choice for this list, as many people have a negative opinion of zoos and their relationship to animals. And it is true that some roadside zoos do not have the animal’s best interests at heart.
However, accredited zoos and aquariums are instrumental in protecting endangered wildlife. They are essential in educating the public about these animals, and informing people about how to protect them.
Many zoos and aquariums also serve as rescue and rehabilitation facilities for endangered wildlife, saving hurt animals and returning them to the wild after they’ve recovered. Additionally, many zoos have breeding programs focused on endangered animals to help boost wild populations.
Just do your research and make sure you’re educated about a facility’s accreditation, so you know you’re giving your support to an upstanding organization. While present times are not ideal for visiting zoos or public places, consider other ways to support. Many zoos are still active online, offering ways to support them through their websites or social media accounts.
3. Reduce Your Consumption & Pollution
Clean water is not just a valuable resource for humans, but for animals as well. Not having access to clean water can cause all sorts of problems for endangered wildlife. Reducing the amount of water you and your family use can help conserve clean water for animals to use. Simple acts such as not leaving a faucet running while brushing your teeth, or taking showers instead of baths, can help save some water for endangered animals. Don’t dump chemicals down the drain, either. Make sure to dispose of them properly.
You can also help by reducing your personal pollution footprint. Walk, bike, or take public transport when you can, instead of driving a personal vehicle. Carpool to work if possible. Buy locally grown food. These small steps can help make the world a better place for endangered animals.
2. Donate to a Wildlife Organization
There are many organizations focused on protecting endangered animals and preserving their native habitats. Organizations like the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, One Tree Planted (which Safari Ltd has partnered with in the past) and countless others are dedicated to the conservation of our endangered species and protecting vulnerable wild spaces. Do your research, find an organization that you feel is doing good work, and donate what you can to further the cause!
1. Spread the Word!
Finally, one of the biggest steps you can take is by becoming a messenger for those without a voice. Be an advocate for endangered animals – spread your message to your family and friends, and tell them what they can do to help. Use social media to educate and reach as many folks as you can.
The power to help endangered species is in your hands. It’s not too late – by doing just a few small things, you can make a real difference.