Endangered Species Day Celebrates Success of Species Protection

National day of recognition encourages learning and renewing commitment to protect species threatened by global warming


Kate Freund, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500 

On Friday, May 18th and throughout the week, Americans will gather at zoos, aquariums, museums, libraries, schools, and many other locations to learn about endangered species, the threats to their survival, and the ways we can protect them. For the second year in a row, the Senate has unanimously passed a resolution designating May 18, 2007, as “Endangered Species Day,” America’s national celebration of its commitment to protect endangered species.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Legislative Associate Kate Freund on the importance of Endangered Species Day.

“Endangered Species Day provides an opportunity for concerned citizens, businesses, organizations, and educational institutions to come together and declare that Americans care about at-risk species and their habitats.

“The Endangered Species Act has been a safety net for wildlife for over three decades. It is one of our nation’s strongest and most effective environmental laws. We hope today to celebrate endangered species success stories, such as the comeback of the American bald eagle. But while we celebrate, we know the battle is far from over. There are still more than 1,800 species listed as endangered or threatened in the world today.

“This year, our focus is on protecting imperiled species like polar bears who are increasingly threatened by global warming.  Melting sea ice, warming waters, shifting migration patterns, and habitat changes are impacting our wildlife, fish and plants, including many imperiled species already on the brink of extinction.  A recently report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that 20 to 30 percent of animal and plant species could be at an increased risk of extinction, with up to 60 percent species loss in some areas, if global warming continues unabated.

“On May 18, we call on Congress and the Bush administration to maintain the strong endangered species protections that have safeguarded America’s unique wildlife and the places they call home for so long. We also urge our leaders to take steps to defend our imperiled species from the growing threats of global warming now, before it is too late.”

The Endangered Species Day resolution encourages all Americans to “become educated about, and aware of, threats to species, success stories in species recovery, and the opportunity to promote species conservation worldwide.” It passed the Senate with unanimous consent on May 1, 2007, after being introduced by Senator Feinstein (D-CA) and co-sponsored by Senators Collins (R-ME), Feingold (D-WI), Levin (D-MI), Snowe (R-ME), Kerry (D-MA), Biden (D-DE), Cantwell (D-WA), Lieberman (I-CT), Wyden (D-OR), Clinton (D-NY), Crapo (R-ID), Sanders (I-VT), Akaka (D-HI), Boxer (D-CA), and Brown (D-OH). To read the resolution, click here.

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