National Endangered Species Day


Each year on the third Friday in May, National Endangered Species Day offers an opportunity for everyone to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species. The observance also encourages learning about wildlife habitats and the actions necessary to protect them. Every year you can participate along with thousands of others at events hosted by wildlife refuges, zoos, parks, community centers, aquariums, botanical gardens, libraries, and schools.

The 40th anniversary of the Federal Endangered Species Act was observed in 2013.

The observance is designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation.” On December 28, 1973, President Richard Nixon signed the Federal Endangered Species Act into law.

The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The FWS maintains a list of all the endangered species, which includes birds, insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, flowers, grasses, and trees. In late 2019, President Trump announced a major overhaul to the law that would reduce regulations. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to support the ESA.

HOW TO OBSERVE #EndangeredSpeciesDay

Many conservation groups, zoos, and wildlife organizations hold a variety of events. These events focus on saving endangered species, improving conservation and education. They host seminars and exhibits aimed at raising awareness across the nation. They also offer discounted or free passes to their facilities. Some ways to participate in the day include:

  • Don’t buy illegal wildlife products, such as ivory
  • Avoid unsustainable food products, such as palm oil
  • Donate to a conservation group or wildlife organization
  • Educate yourself on endangered species
  • Learn more about the Endangered Species Act

Use #EndangeredSpeciesDay to post on social media.


Our research found the National Endangered Species Day was enacted in 2006 by the United States Senate.

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