April 22, 2019

Earth Day: Protecting Endangered Species

 

April 22nd is Earth Day, and this year’s Earth Day theme is Protect Our Species. One of Earth Day Network’s goals is to raise awareness about the fast rate of extinction, its causes and consequences. With that in mind, here are some animal-tastic facts you can share with your kids about endangered species. 

 

Bees

For the past 10 years, beekeepers in the United States and Europe have reported a 30% decline in bee populations.1

Bees are important because they pollinate plants. Honeybees can pollinate between 50-1000 plants a day! Without pollination, plants can’t multiply and other species who rely on plants for food and shelter cannot survive.1

How do we stop bees from going extinct? Besides becoming a beekeeper yourself, the best way to prevent bees from going extinct is to stop the use of pesticides.1 

 

Coral Reefs

A whopping 25% of coral reefs worldwide are considered unrepairable.2

Coral reefs are host to over 25% of all marine life on the planet. (That’s a lot!) Some of the amazing plants and animals that make coral reefs their home are sources for medicines for heart disease, cancer, and more.2

How can we protect coral reefs? Don’t use sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and help stop the use of pesticides. Recycle everything. Garbage can make its way into the ocean and become a threat to ocean-dwellers.2

 

Elephants

Since 1930, the African elephant population has declined from 5-10 million to only 500,000.3

Like humans, elephants can feel deep feelings like love, anger, and sadness. They are also one of the only animals that can recognize themselves in a mirror.3 Wonder if they check to see if they have anything in their teeth?

Why are elephants endangered? A big threat to elephants is poaching. People illegally kill elephants for the ivory in their tusks. The best way to help is to speak out against trophy hunting and the illegal selling of elephant tusks.3

 

For more information on endangered species and what you can do to help, visit sites like earthday.org or worldwildlife.org.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.earthday.org/campaigns/endangered-species/bees/
  2. https://www.earthday.org/campaigns/endangered-species/coral-reefs/
  3. https://www.earthday.org/campaigns/endangered-species/elephants/