September 4 – National Wildlife Day

Posted on September 4, 2015

There is a lovely slide show on the National Wildlife Day website – and it tells us that this year's National Wildlife Day is specifically honoring the memory of Cecil the Lion. 

So...what IS National Wildlife Day?

It was created in 2006 by animal advocate / conservationist Colleen Paige. She encourages people to partner with local animal sanctuaries, zoos, schools, libraries, or other organizations to host events to raise awareness about the needs of local wildlife and of endangered animals all over the world. Today is also a good time to thank zoos and sanctuaries for the work that they do to educate the public about wildlife and to care for and even breed endangered creatures. We can thank them with letters, articles in newspapers and on blogs, and of course with donations!

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Draw or paint your favorite wild animal.

  • Post your artwork, your photos, or your words on social media in an effort to remind people to care about and for the world's animals.

  • Get involved with efforts to save local critters.

Speaking of local critters...

When I was young, we worried about the disappearance of the California condor, which is a really large vulture with a huge wingspan – about 10 feet (3 meters)!!

In 1987, there were only 22 California condors left. All of them were captured and bred at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. We are now finally up to more than 400 condors – and starting in 1991, the condors began to be reintroduced into the wild. There are now some condors living in Northern California (for the first time in more than a century!), Arizona, Utah, and Mexico (Baja California).

If you live in California or nearby states and countries, you can join the crowdsourcing project called Condor Watch, hosted by Zooniverse. Volunteers can become citizen scientists who participate in active research!

Some other success stories, so far, of
formerly-endangered creatures local
to me include the 
brown pelican
and the 
California sea otter

I cannot tell you how thrilling it has been to see more and more of both of these animals in the wild – because, when I was a kid, growing up in California, we just didn't see them!

I hope my story of three California success stories (so far) will encourage you to look around for endangered creatures in your neck of the wood. Look for success stories local to you, or not-so-successful (yet!) stories. Look for ways you can help!

Also on this date:

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