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Spotlight: Experience the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act

Spotlight: Experience the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act

Endangered Species The Gray Wolf is just one of many animal species that have benefited from the Endangered Species Act

“One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?’” Rachel Carson

What You’ll Find

On May 17, 2013 wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries, parks, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, libraries, schools and community centers will observe Endangered Species Day to recognize the national conservation effort to protect listed species and their habitats.

An endangered species is a species of fish, wildlife, or plant facing a very high risk of extinction. Now in its 40th year, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 has been one of the most effective conservation laws, preventing the extinction of 99 percent of the species it protects.

Co-administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Endangered Species Act commits the nation to conserving endangered and threatened species and the habitats upon which they depend. Today, it protects more than 1,400 U.S. species and 600 foreign species.

Getting There

See if there’s an Endangered Species Day event in your neck of the woods.

Endangered Species Day events in Kansas, Washington D.C., Georgia and California:

— Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Join the Kansas City Zoo to learn about the many endangered animal species that live there. Docents will share stories about exotic friends and provide tips to help save them.
— Friday, May 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Enjoy the Endangered Species Day Festival at the beautiful U.S. Botanic Garden on the mall in Washington D.C. There will be children's activities, tours of native and threatened and endangered plants, and an art exhibit of this year's winners of the national Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest.
— Friday, May 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, will host a scavenger hunt using clues about each of their endangered species, leading guests through each of their galleries to look at those animals in particular.
— Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Register for an exclusive tour of the normally closed Warm Springs Unit at Don Edwards San Fransisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont, California. This unit specifically protects threatened and endangered species like Contra Costa goldfields, vernal pool tadpole shrimp, and California tiger salamanders.

Get Started!

— Access endangered species fact sheets and “listed” animals and plants.
— Check out the weekly “Spotlight on Endangered Species" from NOAA Fisheries.
— Find Endangered Species Act success stories in your state with this interactive map.
— Get your kids to learn about "Weird and Wonderful Wildlife" with interactive games.
— Learn about 10 easy things you can do at home to protect endangered species.
— Show your support for threatened and endangered species by replacing your profile picture or avatar on Facebook, Twitter or Google with a picture of your favorite species.

Did You Know?

Forty years ago the bald eagle was in danger of extinction throughout most of its range. Habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act, the federal government’s banning of the insecticide known as DDT, and conservation actions taken by the American public have helped bald eagles make a remarkable recovery. National wildlife refuges are dedicated to the protection of wildlife habitat and the species that depend on them. Refuges are home to more than 280 of the nation's 1,400 endangered or threatened species and 58 refuges were created specifically to help them.