23 Species Have Just Been Declared Extinct. Here’s How You Can Help
On Wednesday federal wildlife officials announced that “22 animals and one plant should be declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list”. It can take decades of searching before animals are officially declared extinct, and most on this list have not been seen since the 1980s, the New York Times reported. The announcement kicks off a three-month comment period before the species status changes become final. This is disappointing news, but there are ways you can help conservation initiatives.
Currently, there are more than 38,500 species on the IUCN Red List. That’s 28 percent of all known species. Urban development, water pollution, logging, competition from invasive species, and animals killed for trophies are all factors that lead to extinction, all caused by humans. As human-caused environmental change persists, the biodiversity of the places these animal call home is at risk of collapse.
So, what can you do to help?
The most impactful way that you can help is to begin to reduce your environmental footprint. Every bit counts. Eliminate single-use plastics, consume less meat, drive less, turn down your heater, avoid fast fashion, and buy vintage.
There are organizations that are doing great work. Consider donating to some of these awesome efforts, like:
- The Nature Conservancy whose 400 scientists impact conservation in 72 countries and territories
- The Wildlife Conservation Society has an over 125 year history of protecting the planet’s biodiversity
- African Parks, an NGO that manages 19 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries covering over 14.7 million hectares across Africa
- The World Wildlife Fund works in almost 100 countries to develop innovative solutions that protect communities, wildlife, and the places in which they live.
When you travel, make sure your trip is having a positive impact on wildlife and the planet. A great start would be a visit to a National Park or a road trip to see all of them. Consider offsetting your flight emissions on your next trip. Some airlines, like United, will do it for you.