Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day sets aside the third Friday in May to recognize the importance of endangered species and is an occasion to educate the public on how to protect them. This year, Endangered Species Day falls on May 18th. In the weeks leading up to Endangered Species Day, we'll be putting a spotlight on a few endangered and threatened species for you to learn more about what makes them unique. And there's still time to enter the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest! The submission deadline is March 15.
Coho Salmon by Gordon Li
The Coho salmon in the United States ranges from the central California coast to northern Alaska and weighs from 7 to 12 pounds.
An anadromous fish, the Coho splits its 3-year life between freshwater streams as a juvenile and the ocean as an adult, returning to the stream where it was born to spawn and die. Dams that block fish passage and overfishing have caused the species to decline, along with removing plants that keep water cool and clean and prevent siltation.
The central California coast Coho was listed as endangered on November 20, 1996; other Pacific populations have been listed as threatened.
Every year, thousands of people throughout the country celebrate Endangered Species Day at parks, wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, libraries, schools and community centers. Visit the Endangered Species Day website find an event near you.