Are We Doing Enough to Protect Endangered Species?

Progress Made in 2022, More To Do in 2023

By David Robinson, December 12, 2022

As we quickly approach the end of 2022, it’s essential to assess the progress made in the ongoing protection of endangered species. Have we done enough to care for threatened and endangered plants and animals and their precious habitats?

The urgency to protect and conserve remains at a high level. As if we needed another wake-up call, the United Nations previously (2019) reported that one million species are in danger of going extinct. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently announced a disturbing update. Of the more than 150,000 species evaluated by its Red List of Threatened Species, “over a quarter are threatened with extinction.”

Are we going in the right direction? A summary of 2022 includes:

*Groups such as the Endangered Species Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, EarthJustice, Defenders of Wildlife, and others have led the way to protect the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

*There have been several success stories of species recovery.

*Impressive campaigns have focused on protecting wolves, grizzly bears, manatees, orcas, and other vulnerable species.

*There has been an even greater call to action regarding the national/worldwide biodiversity crisis.

*Educators have done more to encourage young people to understand the importance of endangered species conservation.

*Events such as Endangered Species Day, World Wildlife Day, Manatee Appreciation Day, Earth Day, Pollinator Week, and Migratory Bird Day have demonstrated that individual actions make a difference.

Of course, there have been the inevitable “challenges.” They include the Scrooge-like attacks on the ESA and fierce opposition to rescuing specific species. Also, the current Administration’s hesitancy to do everything possible to help. But let’s focus on the positive and pledge to do even more in 2023.

Peace on Earth. Goodwill toward the animals.

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