National Endangered Species Day
When occurring naturally, one to five species a year will go extinct. But according to the Center for Biological Diversity, dozens of species are now going extinct each day, with 30 to 50 percent of all species in danger of going extinct by the middle of this century. National Endangered Species Day, celebrated on the third Friday of May, seeks to call attention to this critical threat.
How can you help change this potentially bleak future? Supporting nonprofits that are working to protect species being pushed to the brink by humans is a good place to start. Here are a few of them:
Big Cat Rescue provides the best permanent home it can for the abused, abandoned, and retired cats in its care—by building enclosures in a very natural habitat with foliage and shelter on its 45-acre site, by providing the best nutritional and medical care possible, and by having active operant conditioning and enrichment programs to provide for their physical and psychological well-being. Its broader mission is to reduce the number of cats that suffer the fate of abandonment and/or abuse and to encourage preservation of habitat and wildlife.
“Big Cat Rescue provides an awesome service for big cats that, sadly, is more necessary now than ever. Big cats deserve to live in the wild, but there are so many in the hands of private citizens that are abused and neglected. BCR helps these animals and gives them a home for the rest of their lives, complete with plenty of food, enrichment, vet care, and love. BCR also plays an important role in advocacy for big cats, trying to help them in all areas. The world would be a much worse place without the staff and volunteers at Big Cat Rescue. I visited them in November 2014, and I wish I lived closer so I could visit over and over. To see these amazing animals is a rare treat, and to see them healthy and happy after what many of them have been through is nothing short of a miracle.”
The mission of Pandas International is to ensure the preservation and propagation of the endangered giant panda by providing public awareness and education; support for research, habitat preservation, and enhancement; and assistance to the Giant Panda Centers in China.
“We’ve supported Pandas International for several years. The staff and board are dedicated to helping giant pandas, which are facing extinction in the wild. PI supports equipment, science, education, and general operating costs for panda centers in China. Every year special collections are taken to assist with things like providing baby formula, for special equipment (i.e., incubators), and to encourage bamboo growth. When the Wolong Panda Center was destroyed by earthquakes, mudslides, and flooding, PI was there to help move the pandas, help the staff, and find new opportunities to continue the work so pandas can survive.”
The mission of the Northern Jaguar Project is to preserve and recover the world’s northernmost population of the jaguar, its unique natural habitats, and native wildlife under its protection as a flagship, keystone, and umbrella species.
“I’m so impressed by the motivation of everyone involved with NJP! This organization genuinely cares for the conservation of the jaguar and understands of an impressively deep level the impact these conservation efforts have on its surrounding communities and the environment, among many other things! NJP is also quite clearly an innovation hub for co-collaborative efforts to increase community awareness. They’re not only putting money and effort into expanding their reserve and conservation efforts, but also into education and partnership. So grateful for the energy and love they put into conservation of the undeniably beautiful jaguar and the reserve!”
To learn more about these nonprofits and others like them, check out GreatNonprofits!