The 10th annual Endangered Species Day is Friday, May 15th. This day is one time each year that we celebrate past and current conservation successes, while working together to achieve even more.
When the U.S. Senate started Endangered Species Day with a resolution in 2006, it provided the impetus for this now-yearly event. It is held the third Friday in May every year. A key part of Endangered Species Day is the youth art contest. Nearly a thousand students participated in this year’s Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest with the winning entries announced last month.
There are events scheduled around the country at schools, national parks, community centers, museums, and even backyard gardens. This year’s Endangered Species Day is bringing extra focus to the plight of monarch butterflies that have declined drastically in numbers. Many events are incorporating the planting of milkweed—a plant vital to the survival of monarchs.
The day is a time to celebrate the ongoing recovery of the many species that have seen their fates changed for the better by the Endangered Species Act and through the hard work of conservation and protection. Species like gray wolves, grizzly bears, black-footed ferrets, bald eagles, and California condors are just a few examples of these species.
Click here to find out more about Endangered Species Day and ways that you can participate.
This post comes to you from our friends at Endangered Species Coalition, a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, education, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, business and community organizations working to protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places.
Finding a gift that is meaningful for the people you love can be a challenge. Here are some great gifts that give back to some very important causes!
CELEBRATE THE SEA…
6 out of 7 species of sea turtles around the world are threatened or endangered. Wrap up something that will help save turtle hatchlings. Each $1 raised saves at least one turtle hatchling! Browse Billion Baby Turtle’s Holiday Gift Guide and find the perfect gift.
My pick? The 25 Baby Turtle Adoption Packet – it includes a Billion Baby Turtles bracelet from Pura Vida Bracelets! OMgoodness! $25
Sea otters, though protected, remain vulnerable to threats such as oil spills, pollution, and entrapment in fishing gear. Like a good friend, Friends of the Sea Otter advocates for the protection and preservation of sea otters. Support their mission by becoming a member.
My pick? The Sea Otter Pup Bundle because it includes an adorable set of stationary. $50
A GIFT FOR AFRICA…
African Wildlife Foundation is committed to ensuring the wildlife and wild lands of Africa endure forever. These folks do amazing work. Become a member and receive the gift of pride that you’re making a difference for elephants, rhinos, lions and more!
My pick? 16-month calendar with stunning photos of African wildlife – I’d be reminded of my good deed all year long! $25 and up membership
BEES ON EARTH…
A gift benefiting The Xerces Society helps harness the knowledge of scientists and enthusiasm of citizens to protect invaluable insect populations worldwide. Shop their store to find a fitting gift for the bee and butterfly lover on your list.
My pick? Pollinator Habitat sign. It’s like a “Welcome Home” sign for pollinators to hang in the backyard. Great gift for a gardener. $25
SUPPORT A SANCTUARY…
Chimp Haven offers a safe environment and daily care that enables chimps formerly used in medical research or entertainment industries to live the rest of their lives peacefully. Chimp Haven offers many ways to contribute to their cause; find your favorite way to help on their website.
My pick? As a form of enrichment, Chimp Haven offers its chimpanzees the opportunity to paint. This print by Brent would look great in my home office! $20
And of course, you simply can’t go wrong with a gift of chocolate. Especially when it benefits wildlife conservation! Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10% of net profits annually to nonprofits like African Wildlife Foundation and The Xerces Society.
My pick? Endangered Species Chocolate Holiday Bars – these flavors are only around for a limited time so I snag them while I can. My favorite is the Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch! $2.99
Why not put the planet on your gift-giving list this season? Here are 3 conservation organizations we know and trust to fight for at-risk species and habitats!
Send support to the sea
Make a year-end $110.00 donation to SEE Turtles and receive a gift bag filled with ocean-friendly loot to commemorate your generosity!
SEE Turtles supports community-based sea turtle conservation projects worldwide. Your donation will help protect 100 baby turtle hatchlings.
The ULTIMATE TURTLE LOVERS’ GIFT PACK includes:
- 3 Endangered Species Chocolate bars
- 18oz. Klean Kanteen bottle
- Organic goat milk soap ‘Cause Bar’
- Sea turtle garden flag
- Koteli reusable shopping bag
- Glass Dharma glass drinking straw
- 3 baby sea turtle postcards
For the bees (and other pollinators)…
Join The Xerces Society in combating unnecessary pesticide use and advocating for pollinators. Make a year-end donation to The Xerces Society – you’ll receive a bi-annual subscription to Wings: Essays on Invertebrate Conservation to keep you informed of your donation at work!
Go in on a joint gift with Betty White!
Elephants have a secret weapon against poachers – Betty White! Join the Golden Girl in a quest to protect African wildlife by making a donation to our 10% GiveBack Partner, African Wildlife Foundation. Ms. White will double your gift when you give before December 20th.
Act now and double AWF’s resources to fight to save Africa’s rare and precious wildlife! With your donation you’ll receive
- 16-month calendar with stunning African wildlife photography
- AWF’s quarterly newsletter
- The pride that you are making a difference for Africa’s wildlife, wild lands and community.
Chocolate Gifts Supporting Species
Want to combine a charitable donation with indulgent chocolate? We can help with that!
Pick one of our AWF ADOPTION CHOCOLATE COLLECTIONS.
African Wildlife Foundation works to support 80+ species every day. We’ve paired their purpose with Endangered Species Chocolate bars for gifts that give back in a big way.
Your AWF Adoption Collection purchases send a $15, $25 or $40 donation to African Wildlife Foundation and gives you a delicious chocolate assortment, cute plush animal, and a 1-year AWF e-membership – all wrapped up in a great gift box.
- Adopt a lion
- Adopt a leopard
- Adopt an elephant
- Adopt a giraffe
- Adopt a gorilla
- Adopt a rhino
- Adopt a warthog
- Adopt a wild dog
- Adopt a zebra
SAVE THE SEA TURTLES GIFT PACK
Save sea turtles and savor chocolate! With this purchase, a $10 donation is made to SEE Turtles, a conservation tourism project that supports community-based sea turtle protection efforts.
Your purchase supports work in Costa Rica, Baja California Sur and Trinidad – vital nesting habitats for endangered sea turtles. Each pack bundles three 3oz. Natural Dark Chocolate with Blueberries chocolate bars with a card acknowledging your SEE Turtles donation.
What a sweet gift (that gives back)!
October is Non-GMO Month – a great time to mull over myths and truths about genetically modified organisms so you can make an informed choice…for your health and the health of the planet. What are the impacts of GMOs on the environment? Over 80% of all GMOs are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of herbicides has increased 15x since GMOs were introduced – herbicides that persist in the environment and harm wildlife. There are also GMO crops that produce a Bt toxin insecticide which may harm non-target insect populations such as butterflies and beneficial pest predators. The long-term inpact of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these engineered organisms cannot be recalled.
We believer Mother Nature knows best. That’s why we source Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients for our chocolate. Look for in-store displays during October and celebrate your right to make an informed choice about the foods you eat.
-Sources: Non-GMO Project | Learn More , GMO Myths and Truths, and Non-GMO Project Communications Toolkit
Look for our Non-GMO Project Verified Natural Chocolate Halloween Treats on store shelves in October!
And find Endangered Species Chocolate in store displays throughout Non-GMO Month
What do you do with the overstock of obsolete chocolate bar wrappers? When you’re an eco-minded company, you seek out ways to reuse them. While we keep our inventory tight to avoid waste, rare changes like ingredient updates, discontinuations, and design revisions leave us with wrappers to re-purpose. Some, we shred and use as recyclable packing material in our chocolate shipments. Others, we hand over to Ecoist to make into pretty purses full of purpose!
Ecoist handbags are made through a fair trade manufacturing partnership with artisans in Peru. Fair Trade is a manufacturing partnership that embraces: 1) fair wages to workers, 2) healthy working environments, 3) long term relationships with suppliers, and 4) respect for the local cultural identity. See how the artisans turn pre-consumer waste into environmentally conscious style! And icing on the cake – Ecoist plants a tree for each purse sold!
Enter to win one of 64 Ecoist purses, handcrafted from Endangered Species Chocolate bar wrappers! Add your name to our e-card list between August 5th – September 27th for a chance to win.
Join people around the planet celebrate and honor the body of water which links us all! Visit World Oceans Day’s website to find an event in your area to connect you to saving the sea. Or set off on your own to make a difference; 5 Ways You Can Protect the Ocean, written by Brad Nahill, Co-Founder of SEE Turtles, can get you started Want more ways to help? Check out our post on ways you can protect the ocean while on your next beach visit.
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, one of the most successful environmental laws in U.S. history. Friday, May 17, 2013 is the 8th annual Endangered Species Day – a day to spread awareness of species at-risk and to share success stories of species that have recovered. Join us in raising awareness!
- Attend an Endangered Specie Day event. Find one here!
- Spread the word on social media. Mention @savespecies in a tweet to help Endangered Species Coalition gain supporters (be sure to hashtag #ESDay). Or share a wildlife message with your Facebook friends (include @Endangered Species Coalition in your post so they can see your support).
- Learn about conservation efforts in your state! U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s interactive map can help you discover which species are being protected in your area.
- Use Endangered Species Coalition’s 10 Things You Can Do list to make simple changes that can have a big impact on species conservation.
On April 22, 2013, more than one billion people around the world will take part in the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. Communities everywhere will voice their concerns for the planet, and take action to protect it. Here are some ways to connect and participate:
The History of Earth Day| Get a quick overview of the how and why behind Earth Day with this short WatchMojo video.
Photo by Abigail Alling / Biosphere Foundation
Message from our friend, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, co-founder of SEETurtles, SEEtheWILD and LiVBLUE.
The sea turtles need your help! Six of the seven species of sea turtles are endangered and facing possible extinction. This week we’re kicking off Billion Baby Turtles, a project aimed at reversing this alarming trend and saving sea turtles.
Even if you don’t have time to read this entire post, please take a minute to visit, “like” and share our new Facebook page, where you can also enter to win an amazing prize pack of gear and goodies from sustainable brands including ENO Hammocks, Endangered Species Chocolate, Feelgoodz, Hydro Flask, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Nature’s Path/EnviroKidz, Numi Tea, NUUN, Osprey Packs, prAna, and Tofurky. Enter here.
Now, a little bit more about the sea turtles and what we’re up to with Billion Baby Turtles…
If you’ve watched Animal Planet you know that odds are generally working against sea turtles. From the moment an egg is deposited in a sandy nest on a tropical beach, to the first time a baby turtle touches the sea, to decades later when she returns as an adult to lay her own eggs on very same beach, life is an endless series of life-and-death challenges for a sea turtle.
Nature is stacked against survival, which is why a mother turtle lays thousands of eggs during her lifetime in order to simply replace herself. Predators include dozens of species of crabs, beetles, ants, birds, fish, and sharks. Jaguars, pigs, wild dogs, and raccoons are even on the list of turtle eaters.
For millions of years, sea turtles handled it all just fine.
Yet, when you add modern humans to the mix, the balance suddenly tipped towards oblivion. Over the past century all seven species of sea turtle and their eggs have been hunted, carved, and eaten to the point that many populations are considered vulnerable to extinction. Getting caught accidentally in fishing nets and on hooks just adds to their woes. Throw in plastic pollution, boat collisions, and runaway coastal development on their nesting beaches and you’ve got a situation requiring intervention on a global scale.
But this isn’t a bad news story. That’s because over the past several decades a massive global network of sea turtle scientists, advocates, conservationists, and even lawyers has evolved to work day and night to bring them back. These heroes have been literally working around the clock, saving one egg-—one baby turtle-—at a time. At other times they’ll invest months to rehabilitate a single adult animal before returning it to the ocean. Every turtle released into the ocean is a moment of joy for everyone involved. It never gets old.
These projects are run on “Turtle Time.” Slow, steady, and tenacious wins the race. It takes as long as twenty-five years for a turtle to reach maturity, and return on that turtle-y kind of investment can come slowly. Turtle people are above all patient and hard working. Many projects have been steadily protecting turtles for more than thirty years. Their work is paying off. Some turtle populations are now on the rise after nose-diving to near extinction before that.
Photo by Neil Ever Osborne / SEEturtles.org
The Black Sea Turtle Project in Michoacan, Mexico celebrated its thirtieth anniversary this year and is experiencing its best season since its inception after watching the numbers of nesting female turtles bounce along the bottom of the graph for a decade.
Its sister project, Grupo Tortuguero, working to safeguard black turtles in feeding grounds a thousand miles away in Baja, is turning fifteen in January.
Turtle hunters and poachers in Mexico have had a change of heart and are now turtle protectors and guides. Everyone reports seeing more sea turtles in the ocean and on the beaches.
Now is not the time to let up, though. To get sea turtles back to their former abundance and to restore their ecological role in the ocean this is just half time.
We know exactly what to do. We just need to continue to execute the game plan.
Along with my friends Brad Nahill at SEEtheWILD and Fabien Cousteau at Plant a Fish, we came up with the idea of the Billion Baby Turtles, an initiative to help support groups working on the sea turtle front lines. To make a million more adult turtles we need a billion more baby turtles. It’s a one in a thousand situation out there, roughly speaking.
By creatively connecting individuals and small businesses with grassroots projects working to increase sea turtle production, we are helping overcome donor fatigue, burn out, and other second half challenges.
In the coming years we will collaborate widely to further expand the global sea turtle tribe, widen the base of donors through micro-philanthropy, and throw our support behind the men and women working for turtles on the front lines in their coastal communities around the world.
Forty years ago sea turtle pioneer, Dr. Archie Carr, described what it would take to save sea turtles.
In the long run, marine turtles, like the seas themselves, will be saved only by wholehearted international cooperation at the government level. While waiting for it to materialize, the critical tactical needs seem to me to be three in number: more sanctuaries, more research, and a concerted effort by all impractical, visionary, starry-eyed, and anti-progressive organizations, all little old ladies in tennis shoes, and all persons able to see beyond the ends of their noses…
That is almost legendary substance.
While high-level official negotiations continue, and the large agencies and organizations fight for pro-ocean and pro-turtle policies, why don’t we all do our small part for sea turtles?
A billion baby sea turtles?
Why don’t YOU lead one to the water?
Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols is a scientist, activist, community organizer, author and dad. He works to inspire a deeper connection with nature, sometimes simply by walking and talking, other times through writing or images. He is co-founder of SEE Turtles, SEEtheWILD, & LiVBLUE among other organizations.
Support Billion Baby Turtles Project…
…when you purchase an Endangered Species Chocolate Save the Sea Turtle Gift Pack. Each gift includes three sustainably sourced Dark Chocolate with Blueberries Bars and a $10 donation to Billion Baby Turtles, a gift that helps 10 turtle hatchlings get safely to the sea!
When we announced The Xerces Society as one of our 2013-2015 10% GiveBack Partners, we were well-educated about their work. What we didn’t know was how incredibly passionate their supporters are! Since our commitment to donate 10% of our annual net profits to The Xerces Society, we have received countless emails and phone calls from members, thanking us. Their passion is infectious; my interest, piqued!
So, Xerces Society, what’s with the name?
This conservation non-profit is named after the Xerces Blue, an extinct species of butterfly. The Xerces Blue is believed to be the first American butterfly species to become extinct as a result of loss of habitat caused by urban development.
Bring back the pollinators!
Want to help bees, butterflies and other animals that help pollinate our planet? The Xerces Society’s Bring Back the Pollinators Campaign works with four simple principles that will easily turn your backyard into a place where pollinators can thrive! Become an expert at attracting beneficial insects to your landscape with the help of Xerces Society’s book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies.
Why their work is vital…
Of the more than one million species of animals in the world, 94 percent are invertebrates. They pollinate, spread seeds, recycle nutrients, and are a food source for wildlife. Without them – whole ecosystems would collapse. But these little guys are often overlooked with decisions are made about environmental policy and land management. The Xerces Society speaks up on their behalf through advocacy, policy, education and applied research.
Become a member of The Xerces Society. We promise – you’ll be in good company