5 things you can do this Threatened Species Day to make a positive impact
Did you know that Threatened Species Day was created to commemorate the Tasmanian tiger who went extinct on September 7th, 1936? It’s certainly not a day to celebrate, yet don’t despair, there are ways you can help.
At this current moment, there are 536 threatened animal species and 1402 flora species threatened in Australia. This includes the iconic Aussie koala, platypus, many birds and plants. Although some people might think this inconsequential, every species, including humans, are interconnected. Each species perform vital functions in the circle of life. With every extinction comes a plethora of butterfly effects.
After the black summer fires of 2019/20, many more species became threatened including 11 threatened species of bees. Yet would we even notice if bees went extinct? Well, according to Doctor Anneke Veenstra of Deakin University , the loss of bees would be devastating to the food chain. Without pollination, plants, herbivorous animals, and carnivorous animals would all suffer.
Yet rather than despair and disconnect, I give you 5 actionable things you can do this Threatened Species Day to help make a difference. As Barbara Mikulski says,
“Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change.”
SIGN A PETITION
Signing a petition takes little effort but has maximum effort. There are many reputable companies advocating for change in local and federal government to inspire and demand change. Adding your voice to one of these petitions is a way of letting leaders know that you value the environment and want to support our threatened species.
Sign WWF’s petition to End Animal Extinction and the Australian Conservation Foundation’s petition to help strengthen the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. Currently, logging companies are exempt from environmental laws and even under these laws, there is little protection for threatened species.
CONTACT YOUR FEDERAL MP
Contact your federal MP either by phone, email or an in-person visit. Check out ACF’s site for some great advice on how to set up an effective face to face meeting with your local MP.
JOIN A LOCAL CONSERVATION GROUP
Joining a local conservation group can keep you in the loop with what is directly affecting your local environment as well broader national environmental issues. Feel empowered as you take action and participate in the community.
Find your local conservation groups:
FIND OUT WHAT THREATENED SPECIES LIVE IN YOUR BACKYARD
Many threatened species live right under our noses, in our backyards, and even our city balconies. Find out what Backyard Buddies you might have in your area and how you can support them. Build a bee hotel, a butterfly hotel, or a habitat haven. This might even be a great way to engage the kids and build their knowledge and respect of native Australian fauna and flora.
It might come as a shock to some that there are over 350 threatened species currently living in Australia’s urban areas. Although you might think your tiny city balcony is too small to make a difference, it has the opportunity to become a refuge for threatened species living or commuting through cities.
GET THE KIDS INVOLVED
Finding out what Backyard Buddies are in your area is a great way to engage the kids and build their knowledge and respect of native Australian fauna and flora. Build a bee hotel, a butterfly hotel, or a habitat haven.
There are also many creative competitions that children can engage in to learn about threatened species whilst being creative. Check out the Wild at Art 2022 competition open for submission this Threatened Species Day.
Donating isn’t always viable for everyone so I have left this one last. Although many conservation organisations are not-for-profit and rely on the generous donations of their supporters, donating your time and volunteering is just as valuable. There are many volunteer events happening in major cities and regional areas that are essential to helping our threatened species. Yet even simply donating a few minutes of your day to learn about our threatened species and spreading your knowledge is helpful.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
~ CHINESE PROVERB ~
We can see Threatened Species Day as a day of mourning or a day to take action and be the change. Regardless of whether you are planting an actual tree, volunteering, signing a petition or even just talking about it, you are making a difference.
About the Author
Emma Hawthorne is a professional performer of 15 years, a linguistics graduate from Sydney University and currently studying a Masters in Conservation Biology at Macquarie University. She aims to help people connect to nature, creativity and wellbeing.