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Every year the third Friday in May is observed as Endangered Species Day to protect threatened and endangered species in the nature. This year it falls on 20th May. It is an opportunity for everyone to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species. The observance of Endangered Species Day also encourages learning about wildlife habitats and the actions necessary to protect them.
The National Wildlife Federation spearheaded the establishment of Endangered Species Day by Congress, and take this opportunity each year to share the importance of wildlife conservation and restoration efforts for all imperiled species.
History of Endangered Species Day 2023
Even though this day was created and founded by David Robinson and the Endangered Species Coalition in 2006, there has been official recognition of the issue for far longer than that. America’s Endangered Species Act of 1973 sparked both domestic and international conservation by providing a framework for protection. On December 28th 2006, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 was officially signed into law by President Richard Nixon to facilitate the monumental effort of prevention of endangered species extinction.
Significance of National Endangered Species Day 2023
A species is defined as endangered when its numbers are unusually low. It is one which is still in the world today, but may not be much longer if the right steps aren’t taken. They become extinct from mother earth because of the devastating activities of human beings. According to the IUCN Red List Of Threatened Species, there are now more than 16,000 species of fungi, algae, plants, and animals at the verge of extinction. The bald eagle, the alligator, and the gray wolf etc. are some examples.
Endangered Species Day is an opportunity for each one of us to show our support to conserve the threatened species across the globe. The National Endangered Species Act accentuates the efforts made to preserve the natural habitat of the animals. In India, according to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, hunting of wild animals has been banned to eradicate the risk of endangered species extinction.
How to Observe Endangered Species Day 2023
- People around the world participate in Endangered Species Day by celebrating, learning about, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species.
- Wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups, nonprofits, and individuals hold special programs or events for people of all ages.
- They also host seminars and exhibits aimed at raising awareness across the nation.
- Become a Member of the National Wildlife Federation
- Gather resources to enlighten students about biodiversity and conservation. Conduct story reading sessions from popular children’s books about the importance of looking after endangered species.
- Use the hashtag #endangeredspeciesday on social media and share pictures of some of the endangered creatures!
Endangered Species in India
India has been blessed with exotic animals and birds. She has provided home to a large group of wildlife through 400 wildlife sanctuaries and 80 National parks. Due to destructive human activities like deforestation, poaching, hunting, etc. thousands of species around the globe have been left homeless. Extinction in their natural ecosystem costs them their lives. The International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN), prepares a list of 55000 mammals and among them, 22.2% are extinct or globally threatened.
As of September 2019, according to the Red List by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are 132 critically endangered plant and animal species in India. Below is the list of some of the most endangered species from India.
- The Red Panda
- The Bengal Tiger
- The Asian Elephant
- The Ganges River Dolphin
- The Greater One-Horned Rhino
- The Snow Leopard
- Malabar Large Spotted Civet
- Hump-backed Mahseer
- Indian Bustard
- Wild Water Buffalo
IUCN- International Union for Conservation of Nature
IUCN is a global authority which has observer and consultative status at the United Nations. IUCN is established on October 05, 1948, with headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. IUCN is one of its kind for the protection of the global environment. Based on the rate of decline, population size, geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation IUCN classified the species into 09 different groups, they are:
- Extinct (EX) – No known individuals of these species remaining.
- Extinct within the wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range
- Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction within the wild
- Endangered (EN) – The risk of extinction in the wild is high
- Vulnerable (VU) – The risk of endangerment in the wild is high
- Near threatened (NT) – This group is likely to become endangered in the near future
- Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk (Does not qualify for a more at-risk category)
- Data deficient (DD) – Unavailability of enough data to make an assessment of its extinction rate.
- Not evaluated (NE) – This group of species has not yet been evaluated against the criteria
National Endangered Species Day Quotes 2023
- “Animals are, like us, endangered species on an endangered planet, and we are the ones who are endangering them, it, and ourselves. They are innocent sufferers in a hell of our making.”—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
- “Endangered species are our friends.”—Yao Ming
- “The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak, so we must and we will.”—Theodore Roosevelt
- “Conserving habitats is a wellspring for the next industrial revolution.”—Janine Benyus
- “The most important thing is to preserve the world we live in. Unless people understand and learn about our world, habitats, and animals, they won’t understand that if we don’t protect those habitats, we’ll eventually destroy ourselves.”—Jack Hanna
National Endangered Species Day Quiz 2023
1. What is an endangered species?
2. Does the climate change affects the gender of sea turtles.
3. What is the endangered black rhinoceros hunted for ?
4. A species is considered critically endangered if
a) If its population has not altered at all for around three generations
b) It can only be found in one location
c) Its population has decreased by at least 80% within three generations
d) It is a really big species
Ans: c) Its population has decreased by at least 80% within three generations
5. What organization is responsible for listing species as critically endangered?
a) The United States government
b) The International Union for Conservation of Nature
c) The United Nations Environmental Program
d) The National Zoo Association
Ans: b) The International Union for Conservation of Nature
6. What was the name of the world’s last surviving male northern white rhinoceros?
7. When did the Endangered Species Act go into affect?
Ans: a) 1973
8. Due to the success of recovery efforts under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, what animal is being taken off the endangered species list in the United States in 2013?
a) gray wolf
b) bald eagle
c) black-footed ferret
Ans: a) gray wolf
9. In which region are the Duiker, Ploughshare Tortoise, and Red Colobus Monkey found?
a) North America
d) Southeast Asia
10. Which of these mammals were among the first to be protected under the 1966 Endangered Species Preservation Act?
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