Article by: Jane Marsh, Editor-in-Chief of

Have you ever seen a live golden toad? What about a Cryptic treehunter bird or a Chinese paddlefish? You probably never will. These animals all went extinct over the last five years. Without meaningful change, thousands more could follow as the list of endangered species grows longer each year. 

While it’s true that extinctions occur naturally, human-driven climate change has certainly sped things along. As such, everyone must do their part to protect and preserve what life is left on the planet. 

How Bad Is It?

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows more than 44,000 animals and 40,000 trees currently in danger of disappearing entirely off the Earth. From the skies to the seas, climate change is worsening conditions for these endangered species. 

The resulting loss of biodiversity will be catastrophic across every facet of life. If nature loss stays its current course, there could be several more pandemics like COVID-19 in the near future, among other dire repercussions.

7 Things You Can Do Now to Protect Endangered Species

Saving near-extinct species requires a collective effort. Here are seven ways you can contribute to this endeavor. 

1. Educate Yourself

The more you know about the natural environment and endangered species, the better you can determine the most impactful actions within your purview. You also get to identify larger, longer-term goals that align with your values to work toward. 

2. Visit a Wildlife Park

Everyone should go on safari at least once in their lifetime. The raw connection to nature and the breathtaking views will forever remind you of what you’re protecting. While Africa is home to the authentic safari, you can always start with any of the 567 national wildlife refuges across the U.S. 

3. Volunteer for Conservation Programs 

There’s no better way to support a cause than to donate your time to it. Chances are there are dozens of local or state programs dedicated to protecting endangered species. These organizations almost always need support and will welcome all the help they can get. Endangered Species Day is coming up on May 17th and is a great way to meet like minded advocates and organizations. Find events and information at

4. Promote Natural Processes 

If you can help it, let nature take its course. This means limiting actions that otherwise upset the ecological balance, such as using pesticides and other harmful synthetic chemicals. If you must rid your yard of pests, prioritize solutions that involve natural processes. For example, creating a bat habitat helps fight mosquitoes organically due to their predator-prey relationship. 

5. Transition to an Anti-Consumerist Lifestyle

Consumerism is destroying the planet, depleting natural resources and destabilizing wildlife habitats faster than ever. Many people are obsessed with buying things that generate more waste and emissions, further harming ecosystems. It’s a vicious, highly unsustainable chain with no good outcomes. 

To put things into perspective, humanity would need at least five new planets to support life if everyone lived like the average American consumer. Now’s the time to reexamine your lifestyle and how it impacts the world around you. Waste less and recycle more. If you must buy stuff, prioritize sustainable and responsibly sourced products. 

6. Drive Responsibly 

Vehicle collisions involving animals can hasten the rate at which certain species become endangered. Roadkill has wiped out up to 33% of beech martens, weasel-like animals native to North America, Europe and Central Asia. It’s also the leading cause of death for 28% of a studied population comprising 69 mammalian species. You could push back the extinction clock for many animals just by driving more carefully, especially around wildlife habitats. 

7. Don’t Be a Nuisance 

It’s great that you want to save endangered species, but acting sanctimonious about it will be counterintuitive. There are a lot of self-righteous movements that create divisions and stall the progress on global issues, such as environmental protection and climate change. 

For example, even though their cause is necessary, Just Stop Oil’s method puts them in the news for the wrong reasons, generating more ire than support. Remember, this is an all-hands-on-deck mission and the best way to do this is drive public interest. When enough people care about something, policymakers must comply. 

Do Your Part in Protecting Endangered Species

Rapidly declining populations need help now. Every deliberate action you take to assist endangered wildlife and plants counts. Commit to making a difference today and ensuring a healthy, sustainable planet for everything living.

The post What Everyone Can Do to Protect Endangered Species appeared first on Endangered Species Coalition.

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