There once was a land that was teeming with Brown Bar-ba-loots, Humming-Fish, and luscious, beautiful Truffula Trees, or so goes Dr. Suess’ iconic fable, The Lorax. Those Bar-ba-loots, Humming-Fish, and Truffula Trees were vital members of the fictional ecosystem that Dr. Suess created. However, the Once-ler’s unrepentant disregard for the environment, in his quest to make Thneeds, destroyed this once beautiful land, and left a gray and desolate landscape.
What is Endangered Species Day?
Since 2005, Endangered Species Day has recognized the importance of wildlife conservation and restoration efforts for all species that are endangered, or face the fear of becoming endangered, such as the fictional Truffula Tree or the real-life Furbish Lousewort in Maine. Celebrated annually on the third Friday of May, this holiday celebrates the progress we’ve made to protect birds and other wildlife since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was authorized in 1973. This year marks the 15th anniversary of this critically important celebration.
What is the Endangered Species Act?
The Endangered Species Act is a federal safeguard against the extinction of species in the United States. Since 1973, the ESA has helped save some of America’s most critically imperiled birds and wildlife, including the Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon, among others. Despite its success, however, Congress has seriously considered proposals that would destroy the fundamental protections this foundational environmental law provides to America’s most endangered animals and plants. Maine Audubon has often spoken against weakening the Endangered Species Act, and will continue to do so, to keep Maine from experiencing the gray and polluted landscape that The Lorax railed against.
What Species are Endangered in Maine?
In Maine, endangered and threatened species like the Canada Lynx, Atlantic Salmon, and New England Cottontail need the protections that the Brown Bar-ba-loots were never awarded. Maine has its own endangered species legislation, the Maine Endangered Species Act (MESA), which was authorized in 1975. This law extends additional protections to endangered species such as the Piping Plover and Blanding’s Turtle. This is crucial legislation to protect Maine’s wildlife from real-world Once-lers.
How can I celebrate?
There are a number of ways to celebrate Endangered Species Day; find some captivating ideas for the whole family from the Endangered Species Coalition. Or simply take a hike, watch the birds and other wildlife in your yard, and spend some quality time in nature. This will help you to appreciate all of the essential members of our fragile ecosystems. You can also make your voice heard by urging Congress to protect the Endangered Species Act. Again, summoning the spirit of The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”