BLOGGING THE VIEW: 7 Things you can do this Endangered Species Day

Celebrate this Fri-YAY by doing something a bit selfless for our endangered wildlife. It doesn't have to be a big action, just adjusting a few habits and being a bit more mindful will make a difference. We just all need to do something...

You’re no doubt inundated with ‘bad news’ stories – the climate crisis, genocide, election doomsday scenarios – and endangered species aren’t topping your list of things to read this week, but there is some good news!

There are actually real-life, day-to-day things you can do to help protect South African animals, and when better to start than Endangered Species Day (celebrated on the third Friday of May)?

What are endangered species?
Endangered species are plants and animals that are at risk of extinction owing to factors such as habitat loss, poaching, invasive species and climate change.

What are some endangered animal species?
– Black rhino
– Southern white rhino
– Cheetah
– African wild dog
– Blue crane
– Pickergill’s reed frog

What can you do to protect endangered species?
Here are a few simple actions you can start adopting in your life to protect our endangered species and ensure the planet’s biodiversity remains intact.

1. Educate yourself
Step 1 is done! You’re reading this piece which means you’re already learning more about endangered species. It’s not just about having something nice to look at, our natural world relies on each and every plant and animal species to thrive and survive.

2. Support national parks
Game and nature reserves are some of the last refuges of our natural world, and by visiting them, or donating towards their efforts, you’re playing a part in protecting our endangered species.

3. Make your home wildlife friendly
There are lots of little ways you can protect the natural world and thereby the endangered species – as it’s all connected. Recycle your litter and ensure it’s secured. Disinfect bird baths to prevent the spread of disease. Place decals on windows or screen doors to prevent bird collisions.

4. Plant indigenous
Indigenous plants provide food and shelter for the natural world, so consider replacing non-native plants with indigenous plants, and don’t use pesticides. This can be done over time, but it will go a long way in protecting our endangered species.

5. Drive carefully
Roads encroach on natural habitats and collisions lead to thousands of animal deaths every year. Make sure you drive carefully in areas where wildlife resides – and in Zululand, that’s pretty much everywhere!

6. Be a conscious shopper
Check every product you buy to ensure it doesn’t harm animals or habitats, or abuse natural resources. Avoid products using palm oil as these plantations have led to the devastation of natural forests. Minimise buying new items, try to buy second-hand where you can, and invest only in sustainably made goods.

7. Volunteer
There are lots of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centres around, so consider giving up your time to help these noble people and the work they do. If you have the means to do so, you could also donate to these worthwhile causes.

Be part of the solution this Endangered Species Day by doing just one thing to make this natural world safer for wildlife.

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