SciSun Special Friday Edition!: Endangered, but not gone!!   Leave a comment

All week we’ve been highlighting some of the Endangered Species in our Sierra/Great Basin region and the challenges they face. What can you do to help these, and other plants and animals survive? Well, we’re glad you asked – and thanks to many scientists and researchers and organizations and others working for a better environment – groups like the Endangered Species Coalition – we just happen to have some ideas!

1) Learn about endangered species in your area.
Teach your friends and family about the wonderful wildlife, birds, fish and plants that live near you. The first step to protecting endangered species is learning about how interesting and important they are. Our natural world provides us with many things like fresh food and clean air and water and other things everyone needs, but every day scientists are finding more natural sources that can be used in medicine, nutrition, industry and recreation.

2) Visit a national wildlife refuge, park or other open space
These protected lands provide habitat to many native wildlife, birds, fish and plants. The best way to protect endangered species is to protect the places where they live. Get involved by keeping your local environment free of litter and pollution, or volunteering at your local nature center or wildlife refuge.

3) Make your home wildlife friendly
Make certain garbage is in cans with locking lids, keep pet food indoors and lock pet doors at night to avoid attracting wild animals into your home. It might sound like fun to have squirrels in your house, but who’s cleaning up that mess??
Place decals on windows to help birds. Millions of birds die every year because of collisions with windows. You can help reduce the number of collisions simply by placing decals on the windows in your home, school and work. Use removable decals. Trust us on that one.

4) Provide habitat for wildlife by planting native vegetation in your yard
Native plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Attracting native insects like bees and butterflies can help pollinate your plants.

5) Minimize use of herbicides and pesticides
Herbicides and pesticides may keep yards looking nice but they are also dangerous pollutants that affect wildlife at many levels. Many herbicides and pesticides take a long time to settle and build up in the soils or throughout the food chain. Some groups of animals such as amphibians suffer greatly as a result of the high levels of herbicides and pesticides in their habitat.

6) Be aware of Wildlife in your neighborhood
Many animals live in the same areas as humans. You might not see them, but they’re there (and usually have become very good at hiding!). Two of the most dangerous challenges to urban wildlife are cars and other vehicles, and loose dogs and cats. Drive a little more slowly to give animals a chance to cross the roads safely, and keep your dogs and cats under control.

7) Recycle and buy sustainable products
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle! You know the drill!

8) Never purchase products made from the environments of threatened or endangered species
Recycle your cell phones, because a mineral used in cell phones and other electronics is mined where many animals live and mining destroys their homes.
Minimize your use of palm oil because forests where tigers live are being cut down to plant palm plantations. Never buy furniture made from wood from rainforests.
In the United States and many other countries, any company that is working in an environment where there are threatened or endangered species must take special efforts to keep the species safe and protected. If you hear of any companies that aren’t following the rules, speak up!

9) Report any harassment or shooting of threatened and endangered species
Harassing ANY wildlife is cruel. Shooting, trapping, chasing or forcing a threatened or endangered animal is also illegal and can lead to their extinction. Don’t participate in this activity, and report it as soon as you see it to your local, state or federal officials.

10) Protect wildlife habitat
Perhaps the greatest threat that faces many species is the widespread destruction of habitat. Wildlife must have places to find food, shelter and raise their young. Logging, oil and gas drilling, over-grazing and development all result habitat destruction.  By protecting habitat, entire communities of animals and plants can be protected together.

Parks, wildlife refuges, and other open space should be protected near your community. Open space also provides us with great places to visit and enjoy. Support wildlife habitat and open space protection in your community.

Thanks for caring about Wildlife and Wild Places!

Now you know what you can do – Here are some places to take the Next Step! Endangered Species Day logo 2012

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