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Endangered Species Day 2012

By: Lilibeth Serrano, USFWS Public Affairs Specialist and Danaira Román (Danna Liurova), USFWS Youth Ambassador

May 18, 2012

Poster for Endangered Species Day 2012 in Puerto Rico

Today, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is celebrating the Endangered Species Day to recognize efforts to protect and recover extinction-endangered species in our nation.   The Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office commemorated this day in advance, by offering education and awareness to students, families and faculty of the Maricao High School and Middle School on May 4, 2012. Collaborating institutions included Centro para la Conservación del Paisaje, Envirosurvey Inc., the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Natural Resources Conservation Services, and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. 

Maricao is a town of special interest to the Service in the inner mountainous region of Puerto Rico.  It is best known for its coffee, and also home to several endangered and threatened plants and animals. Maricao is a hotspot for migratory birds, the candidate elfin-woods warbler and potential home for the third Puerto Rican Parrot wild population. 

There was a wide range of exhibits and activities.  The kids enjoyed several presentations about the rich biodiversity of the Maricao forested areas and endangered species in general. Service biologists demonstrated the use of telemetry equipment in bird monitoring.

There were live specimens on display.  Judging by the facial expression, participants were amazed when they saw a live Puerto Rican Parrot.  They were also surprised to see the Puerto Rican Crested Toad and the Puerto Rican Boa.

The students also planted a parcel of coffee and native trees of guamá, moca, guaba and capa prieto at the school entrance, visible from the road.  As the native trees mature, providing shade to the coffee plants will demonstrate to residents of Maricao and visitors to the Annual Coffee Festival, that shade coffee restores habitat for wildlife in agricultural settings.

Kids and faculty members also created a “Diversity Tree” where they expressed how they each could individually help protect endangered species in their own town.  

Today’s question is: “How can you help protect an endangered species in your town?” 

You can find photos of this event at our Flickr site 

Last updated: May 18, 2012