Photo of a bald eagle in flight to celebrate Endangered Species Day!

10 Ways to Celebrate Endangered Species Day

Endangered Species Day 15th AnniversaryToday—May 15, 2020—marks the 15th annual Endangered Species Day! Celebrated since 2006, this day was created to bring awareness to the plight of endangered species and their habitats. Currently, there are over 1,300 endangered or threatened species in the United States. You might already know some of the animals on the list, like wolves and whales, but did you know that frogs, butterflies, spiders, clams, and even cacti can also be endangered?¹ These creatures might seem small and insignificant, but they make a huge impact on their surrounding habitats. Each animal, insect, or plant is part of a greater ecosystem and any disruption to that system can have disastrous consequences.

That’s why it’s important to promote the well-being of all creatures, great and small. Here are ten things you can do this Endangered Species Day to help promote awareness and protect endangered species!

1. Become a Member of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the largest nonprofit conservation group in the U.S., stands at the forefront of wildlife protection and environmental advocacy. Recognized as the original champion of Endangered Species Day, the NWF is dedicated to safeguarding threatened species and restoring vital natural habitats across the nation. Through innovative conservation programs, collaborative partnerships, and educational initiatives, the NWF empowers individuals to take action in support of wildlife conservation. By raising awareness and fostering a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness between human activities and the health of our ecosystems, the NWF strives to inspire a collective commitment to preserving biodiversity and ensuring a sustainable future for all species.

2. Update your Facebook cover photo to show your support.

Help spread the word about Endangered Species day by sharing an image of your favorite endangered animal. You can download images from the NWF here!

Photo of a greater sage grouse in celebration of Endangered Species Day!

3. Watch the new documentary, Racing Extinction!

The Endangered Species Coalition is offering a free screening of their latest documentary on May 15th, at 8:30 PM Eastern Time. RSVP here and attend a live Q&A event after the show

4. Take part in the What’s In My Backyard? challenge on Saturday, May 16th!

This all-day event is a fun, free activity that both children and adults can enjoy. Simply download the iNaturalist app to take pictures and identify the plants and animals that live in your neighborhood. For complete instructions, click here!

5. Create a backyard wildlife habitat.

There are many simple things you can do to make your backyard a haven for local species. Set up feeders, houses, and baths for birds or create a pollinator garden filled with native plants for butterflies and bees. Check out a few more ideas from the National Audubon Society.

Transforming your backyard into a thriving ecosystem for local wildlife is easier than you might think. Start by setting up bird feeders, nesting boxes, and birdbaths to attract a variety of avian visitors. Consider creating a pollinator garden filled with native plants to provide food and habitat for butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. Enhance your backyard’s biodiversity by incorporating features such as a small pond or a brush pile for shelter. For more inspiration and practical tips, check out the National Audubon Society’s guide on making your backyard wildlife-friendly. With a few simple adjustments, you can turn your outdoor space into a sanctuary for wildlife while enjoying the beauty of nature right at home.

6. Stop bird collisions with DIY window decals!

Each year, millions of birds tragically collide with windows, resulting in countless fatalities. However, there’s a simple and creative solution: DIY window decals. By crafting your own decals, you can effectively deter birds from flying into windows while adding a touch of personality to your home. Consider using materials such as colorful tape, stickers, or cut-out shapes to create eye-catching designs that birds will easily notice and avoid. Place these decals strategically on windows to break up the reflection and make the glass more visible to birds in flight. Not only does this DIY approach help prevent bird collisions, but it also allows you to express your creativity while making a positive impact on local bird populations. Check out this easy DIY tutorial!

7. Support your local wildlife refuge.

Supporting your local wildlife refuge is a meaningful way to contribute to conservation efforts and protect natural habitats. With 566 wildlife refuges managed by the National Wildlife Refuge System across the country, there are ample opportunities to get involved and make a difference. Consider visiting your nearest refuge to explore its diverse ecosystems, observe wildlife in their natural habitats, and learn about ongoing conservation projects. Additionally, volunteering your time and skills at the refuge can have a significant impact, whether it’s assisting with habitat restoration, participating in wildlife monitoring programs, or leading educational activities for visitors. By actively engaging with your local wildlife refuge, you not only show your support for conservation initiatives but also play a vital role in preserving biodiversity and safeguarding natural treasures for future generations to enjoy.

To find one near you, click here.

8. If you can’t visit a wildlife refuge or park, take a virtual tour!

Google Earth is offering virtual tours of 31 National Parks. From the comfort of your own home, you can take a hike through Arches National Park in Utah or visit the great Redwood forest in California.

9. What to do more? Help scientists gather and sort wildlife data!

Researchers who need volunteers, post their projects on the website Zooniverse. Here, you can review footage of raccoons on their nightly outings or help transcribe and digitalize the nesting records of robins. Every little bit helps researchers better understand how animals interact with their environment.

10. Want to know more? Take a free course from National Geographic.

Embarking on a conservation project or gaining insights into critical issues like illegal wildlife trafficking and ocean conservation can be transformative experiences. By enrolling in courses dedicated to these topics, you can deepen your understanding of environmental challenges and acquire valuable skills to make a positive impact. For example, imagine launching a community-driven initiative to restore a local wetland habitat or organizing a beach clean-up campaign to combat marine pollution. Through self-paced online courses, you have the flexibility to tailor your learning journey to align with your interests and goals. Whether you’re passionate about protecting endangered species, preserving fragile ecosystems, or advocating for sustainable practices, these educational resources empower you to become a catalyst for change. By taking the initiative to educate yourself and take action, you contribute to the collective effort to safeguard our planet’s biodiversity and ensure a sustainable future for all.

Join Us in Protecting Wildlife and Making a Difference

Happy Endangered Species Day Everyone! We hope you find a fun activity or project to help protect wildlife. You can make a difference. While there are 1,300 species in the U.S. that are currently at risk, research has shown that 99 percent of species survive once they are added to the endangered list and conservation efforts begin.²

What is Gondwana? Learn more about Gondwana Ecotours and how they offer immersive travel experiences that blend adventure with environmental stewardship, allowing travelers to explore unique destinations while promoting conservation efforts. With a focus on sustainability and cultural engagement, Gondwana Ecotours provides enriching journeys that leave a positive impact on both travelers and the planet.


¹”Endangered Species: Species Information (Factsheets).” EPA.
²”10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Endangered Species Act.” NRDC.

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