It is well-known that many species became endangered due to industrialization, pollution, overhunting and reckless human activities. However, the good news is that we are now fully aware of the dangers facing the wildlife and that we can, on an individual level, help save these endangered species from extinction.
Endangered species are species that are facing a high risk of extinction if no action is taken to protect them. They are defined every year by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in their “Red List of Threatened Species.”
You may have seen some large international organizations striving to save them, like Endangered, World Wild Life (WWF) and NRDC. But what can you do, as an individual, to help save and protect the wildlife? The answer is obvious! Discover below 10 practical ways to make an impact.
10.) Educate Yourself About The Endangered Species In Your Area
This is a no-brainer: you can’t save a species you don’t know enough about. Your commitment in the long run and your ability to spread awareness about the issue depend on it. Search online for lists of these endangered species and what dangers they’re facing. You can also find the information in articles published by your local newspapers or in the websites and pamphlets distributed by your local wildlife protection NGOs.
Don’t stop there, go outside and experience the beauty of the wildlife IRL. Visit the local zoos, conservative projects, parks and make wildlife viewing a frequent activity. It will help you gain immense knowledge about the endangered animals.
9.) Volunteer And Make An Impact
Donating money is not the only way to help, donating time can be as impactful and rewarding. Many wildlife refuges, nature reserves and centers, rehabilitation hospitals and zoos welcome volunteers to take care of the animals.
One of the reasons a species becomes endangered is the endangerment of its natural habitat. By helping protect the place where they live, you are helping the cause tremendously.
8.) Consume Ethically And Eco-Responsibly
In addition to the price tag, there are other labels you should check when buying clothes and miscellaneous souvenirs. Ask about the materials used to make them.
WWF advises to ask the following questions:
✔ What is this product made of?
✔ Where did this product come from?
✔ Does the country I’m visiting allow the sale and export of this product?
✔ Do I need permits or other documents from this country or the United States to bring this item home?
7.) Ivory Is Out
Never buy or support the purchase of products involved in the illegal wildlife trade. This can be particularly true when traveling abroad and bringing home souvenirs. In addition to ivory (of any kind and in any form, raw or carved), there are many animals and wildlife-derived components you should absolutely avoid.
Check this Watch List to know more about them.
6.) Turn Your Lawn Or Garden Into a Wildlife-Friendly Habitat
Create your wildlife-friendly garden by planting the native flora. By selecting, planting, and managing the right trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, your land will offer food and shelter for the wildlife.
Amongst many, you can keep fresh water outside for the small animals and birds, plant bee-friendly flowers that support nectar, attract beneficial bugs, hang birdfeeders, and add a birdhouse.
5.) Go Poison-Free
Your lawn or garden can become home to endangered species if you put a little effort into it. Avoid using herbicides, pesticides, or toxins. Our ancestors lived without any, and so can we. Choose organic products and natural pesticides that aren’t poisonous for the wildlife instead. There are hundreds of recipes online to teach you how to make yours yourself. You can start here.
4.) Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Our mantra is: consume less and recycle more.
Watch closely your energy use and use of natural resources and reduce them as much as possible. As stated at the beginning of the article, pollution is one of the reasons some species became endangered.
Some simple actions can get us a long way:
- Taking a bike, public transportation, or carpooling instead of driving a car.
- Purchasing locally-grown food at the farmers market instead of imported ones.
- Participating in a community garden or growing one’s veggies and fruits.
- Donating clothes instead of throwing them away and thrift-shopping instead of buying brand new clothes.
- Unplugging appliances and chargers when not in use.
- Reducing plastic products purchase. Many endangered species confuse them for food and end up choking on them or digesting them.
3.) Donate Money Or Fundraise
Donate money directly to your local wildlife refuge or to a bigger organization. Either it’s a one-time contribution or a continuous one, it will help the organization immensely. If you’d like to take it to the next level, organize a fundraising campaign.
2.) Don’t Stay Silent: Report!
You have the moral responsibility to report any illegal activity involving the wildlife. Shooting, trapping, hunting, or injuring animals are no-brainers, but other activities such as fishing in a protected area and poaching, or wildlife trafficking, collecting and capturing, are also off the table.
You can turn to your state wildlife department to blow the whistle on these practices.
1.) Raise Awareness
The issue is too big to fight it on your own, it’s time to embark more people on board. Raising awareness can be as small as inviting your friends and family to watch educational movies and documentaries and sharing them on social media, or as big as helping organize a school field trip to a local conservative project. You can also pledge your commitment to the cause by signing wildlife protection petitions and inviting people to do the same.
And finally, you can spread the word by sharing this article with your friends and show them that saving the wildlife is a choice each one of us can make. What do you do in your everyday to protect animals and help the environment?