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May 10, 2006

May 11 First-ever Endangered Species Day

On May 11, America will celebrate endangered species success stories...

Washington, DC   -- On May 11, America will celebrate endangered species success stories, including the protection and recovery of the American bald eagle, gray wolf, peregrine falcon, American alligator and many other fish, plants and wildlife.
The U.S. Senate has unanimously proclaimed May 11 as Endangered Species Day, providing for the first-ever national celebration of America's commitment to protecting our unique wildlife. The Senate resolution encourages all Americans to "become educated about, and aware of, threats to species, success stories in species recovery, and the opportunity to promote species conservation worldwide."
"This first-ever Endangered Species Day gives us a chance to celebrate America's commitment to protecting our unique wildlife," said Sarah Matsumoto of the Endangered Species Coalition. "Endangered Species Day is a great opportunity for young and old alike to learn about our nation's wildlife and get involved in protecting endangered species and their habitat."
The goal of Endangered Species Day is simple -- to educate people about the importance of protecting our rare, threatened, and endangered animal and plant species. Endangered Species Day will provide an opportunity for schools, libraries, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, agencies, businesses, community groups and conservation organizations to educate the public about the importance of protecting endangered species and highlight the everyday actions that individuals and groups can take to help protect our nation's wildlife, fish and plants.
A list of Endangered Species Day events and activities can be found at: <> .
"Across the country, America's symbol, the Bald Eagle has made a remarkable recovery thanks to efforts to protect these birds and their homes," said Betsy Loyless with the National Audubon Society. "Without these efforts, we might have lost the Bald Eagle forever. Our commitment to protecting rare wildlife ensures that Americans can enjoy seeing eagles soar across our skies for generations to come."
One reason for the nation's success in protecting wildlife is the passage, 33 years ago, of the federal Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act has successfully prevented the extinction of hundreds of species, including the bald eagle, whooping crane, grizzly bear and Pacific salmon.  Many of our nation"s signature species, such as the Florida manatee, Kirkland"s warbler, California condor and Hawaiian monk seal, owe their continued existence to the protections of the Act.
The resounding success of the Act shows in the fact that only two percent of the more than 1800 listed species went extinct after listing while the great majority increased in size and are on the road to recovery.
"The Endangered Species Act provides a safety net for animals and plants on the brink of extinction," said Larry Schweiger, President of the National Wildlife Federation. "Our children and grandchildren deserve to inherit a wildlife legacy we can be proud of."
"Today is also a day to step back and recognize all the great achievements of the Endangered Species Act," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. "The fish, wildlife and plants that we celebrate today have teetered at the brink of extinction but found the road to recovery thanks to these important protections."
Endangered Species Day will raise awareness about the ongoing threats to endangered species, and the Act's tremendous success in helping species to recover. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about the wide variety of actions that individuals and groups can take to help protect our nation's wildlife, including building backyard wildlife habitat, protecting water quality, and supporting local efforts to clean up rivers, parks, and other natural areas. 
The Endangered Species Day resolution, passed April 5, was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).