Endangered species are those animals, birds and fish that are in immediate danger of becoming extinct. The main reasons for this danger are the loss of natural habitat, environmental pollution and the introduction of other species. Nearly one-third of the amphibians, about half the turtles, one out of every eight birds and one out of every four mammals are faced with extinction [source: Smithsonian]. In 1973 the United States Congress passed the Endangered Species Act, in an effort to protect those animals, fish and plants that were in danger of becoming extinct [source: FWS]. There are many national organizations that are involved in protecting endangered species. If you get involved and support these organizations you will be helping to protect endangered species. Here are some ways you can help protect endangered species.
- Join the National Wildlife Organization. This organization defends and enforces the Endangered Species Act, which makes it illegal to harm endangered species. The National Wildlife Organization also holds the various federal agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, responsible for upholding the laws that protect endangered species. The organization tries to reduce the threats to wildlife that lead to their endangerment by encouraging limiting the use of pesticides and advocating care to avoid contamination of the water.
- Become an advocate of the dangers of global warming. Changes in temperature due to global warming directly affect plants and animals through threats of disease, wildfires and the loss of their natural habitat [source: NWF].
- Join and support conservation efforts, such as those advocated by the World Wildlife Fund. Through conservation, the World Wildlife Fund has successfully brought many animals back from the verge of extinction [source: WWF].
- Lobby your congressmen to vote for all legislation that pertains to the protection of endangered species [source: MacKasson].
- Volunteer at one of the numerous organizations dedicated to protecting endangered species. The Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund and the National Wildlife Federation all welcome volunteers [source: Sierra Club, NWF, WWF].