How To Help Protect Endangered Species As Trump's Latest Rollback Puts Them At Risk
In the midst of a climate crisis, the Trump administration announced on Aug. 12 that it will roll back protections for endangered species. Among other changes, Trump's rollbacks include reducing protections for newly threatened species and allowing federal authorities to consider the economic cost of protecting endangered species, according to the New York Times. With the potentially devastating impact this could have, environmentalists and concerned global citizens are left wondering how to help protect endangered species as the administration continues to chip away at environmental protections.
The Endangered Species Act was established in 1973 and was meant to serve as conservation guidelines for both the U.S. and other countries. It's also known as the main driving force for any and all wildlife protections within the country, according to Vox, being responsible for saving animals like the bald eagle and humpback whale. The Trump administration's plans, which were first introduced in the summer of 2018, include removing protections for threatened species, and disallowing officials from considering how their possible extinction could affect the climate, according to the Associated Press. It also lets officials factor in the economic cost of protecting a species, meaning that some species may not be protected if it's deemed too expensive.
Attorneys general pointed out that these changes would, in short, put wildlife at risk, according to USA Today. Overall, Trump's changes to the Endangered Species Act mean less protection for any species listed in the future, less protection for natural habitats, and less scientific supervision.
If you're one of the people worried about the effects these rollbacks will have on endangered species, you can take action into your own hands and help. Here are seven ways you can help protect endangered species near you.
You can contribute to the protection of endangered species by donating to one of the organizations whose mission it is to protect them. Organizations like the World Wildlife Fund, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the Wildlife Conservation Society are just some of the many that dedicate their efforts to saving endangered species. Whether you can give a small one-time gift or be a continuing contributor, you can help protect endangered species.
Start At Home
Sometimes, things as simple as reducing water use or waste within your own home can benefit any wildlife that may be living near you. Reducing your own water use can help ensure that species around you are getting enough water, according to endangeredspecies.org. Additionally, if you notice you have trash cans that may be easy to get into, you can try securing them better or getting trash bins that lock in order to protect animals from getting into your trash and eating something that may hurt them. Making these little efforts and encouraging your friends and family to do the same can create a snowball effect that can begin to make a difference.
Write A Letter To A Government Official
Enacting change can happen with the help of the elected officials near you. You can easily look up contact information for your local officials and then write a letter expressing your concern regarding Trump's rollbacks as well as the general wellbeing of endangered species. If you and others continue to flood your officials with letters of concerns, odds are that they'll have to address the issue and use their elevated position of power to try and enact change, even if only within your own community.
Write A Letter To A Media Outlet
You can also try a different route and write a letter-to-the-editor of a media outlet. By articulating your concerns for the endangered species of the world, you can draw attention to the issues not only among your community, but among a broader group of people. Plus, so many things go viral these days. If you have enough friends, family members, and followers share or repost your thoughts, it can spread the word even farther and potentially spark change.
Find Out Which Species Are Endangered Near You
You can better help protect endangered species by first learning which ones might be living near or around you, according to endangeredspecies.org. By researching this, you can determine where you might not want to travel, in order to avoid disturbing habitats. You can also learn about more specific ways to help these endangered species, based upon what their needs or threats might be. You can do this by checking species listed by organizations dedicated to protecting endangered species or just by researching endangered species in your area. By educating yourself, you can then educate others, and bring their attention to the species that they can help within their own regions.
If you live in an area that's wooded or near a lot of greenery, there are chances that your town's roads were built around or through the habitats of different species. It's reported that 1 million vertebrates are run over every single day in the U.S. While you should be driving at safe speeds either way and any animal you hit on the road is a horrible loss, you also never know when one of the animals you hit might be an endangered species, according to endangeredspecies.org.
Be More Weary Of Trinkets & Antiques
If you've ever gone on vacation or even visited an antique store in your city, you may have found a cool-looking gift or souvenir to buy for yourself or family. But sometimes, these gifts can be ones that were made from parts of endangered species, according to the Huffington Post.
Things like raw or carved ivory are often made from the elephant, whale, walrus, narwhal, or seal teeth/tusks. You can stop buying products that look suspicious or even be more critical of the things you buy. Asking sellers where or how the gift was made can help you make a better decision and avoid contributing to markets that profit off of killing or hurting endangered species.
As the Endangered Species Act changes, it may seem frivolous to make efforts on your own, but that's not the case. The little changes you make around your own home and community can trickle down to others and inspire bigger change.