May 15, 2013
Vanessa Kauffman 703-358-2138
Georgia Parham 812-334-4261 x 1203
Partners Across the U.S. Celebrate Annual Endangered Species Day
Events around the Midwest Highlight Local Recovery Efforts
Indiana bat flying over clusters of bats. Photo by Andy King/USFWS
The 8th annual national Endangered Species Day will be celebrated on May 17, 2013, with special events and other programs throughout the country to recognize conservation efforts underway across the nation aimed at helping America’s imperiled species. This year also commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.
In the Midwest, zoos, nature centers and conservation groups are taking the opportunity to share endangered species stories with visitors. Zoos in Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Detroit and South Bend are all planning special activities for visitors.
“America is doing an amazing thing. We’ve made a promise to keep species from going extinct,” said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition, primary sponsor of Endangered Species Day. “We’ve been incredibly successful. Endangered Species Day is an ideal opportunity to celebrate our nation’s success stories.”
“For 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has helped our nation protect the wild things and wild places, ensuring that our children’s children and future generations can see such species as the bald eagle, the black-footed ferret and the American alligator,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Endangered Species Day offers us an opportunity to recognize the Act’s good works and the work of all those committed to it.”
Endangered Species Day honors the importance of protecting America’s threatened, endangered and at-risk species; highlights success stories of species recovery; and demonstrates everyday actions people can take to protect our disappearing wildlife and last remaining open spaces. For more information, including a list of events occurring throughout the country, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.
Federally endangered species in the Midwest range from insects like the American burying beetle and Karner blue butterfly to the Indiana bat to the Higgins eye pearlymussel. Efforts to recovery these species are carried out by the Service in partnership with states, Tribes and conservation organizations. For information on Midwest endangered species, visit www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered
National wildlife refuges, parks, botanical gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups and conservation organizations will hold tours, exhibits, restoration projects, children’s programs, field trips and other activities on Endangered Species Day and throughout the month.
“AZA is pleased to be a partner in Endangered Species Day helping to raise awareness about the threats that endangered species face in their natural range,” said AZA President & CEO Jim Maddy. “In addition to providing exceptional care to the animals at their facilities, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums support more than 2,640 conservation projects in 130 countries, contributing more than $160 million to these wildlife conservation projects. As poaching, deforestation and other factors continue to threaten these species, it is more important than ever for us to continue to collaboratively spread the message of conservation through educational programs and events like Endangered Species Day to help make a positive impact on the future of these species.”
Other notable events include the Endangered Species Day open house at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., habitat restoration projects in San Diego and many other special programs planned by the Service’s field and regional offices.
Started in 2006 by the United States Senate, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of our nation’s imperiled plants and wildlife and wild places, with an emphasis on success stories of species recovery. The Endangered Species Act has prevented hundreds of listed species from going extinct. Co-administered by the Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the purpose of the Act is to conserve imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.
America’s fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. Learn more about the Service’s Endangered Species program, and explore what endangered species are near you, please visit www.fws.gov/endangered.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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