May 18th is Endangered Species Day

 In Environment

Endangered desert tortoise

Twice a month, I present an endangered California desert tortoise to a diversity of school kids in San Francisco during a docent talk in the theater of the Randall Museum. I am astonished that even kindergartners here oftentimes know what “endangered” means. When I ask, they reply, “It means they are going away.” “They are almost gone.”

On Friday, May 18th, parks, wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, environmental agencies, conservation organizations, schools, museums, libraries, businesses, and community groups across the country will host events to bring awareness to imperiled species on Endangered Species Day.

I heard about Endangered Species Day from Patrick Schlemmer, President of the San Francisco Naturalist Society. Patrick works at the San Francisco Zoo, where an inaugural celebration of Endangered Species Day will host over 2,000 school children bearing Endangered Species Day “Passports.” Docents will be stationed at exhibits of endangered species at the zoo to answer questions and stamp passports. While visiting the endangered western lowland gorilla, Sumatran tiger, Waldrapp ibis, Grizzly bear, Ring-tailed lemur, and San Francisco garter snake, children will learn about ways to save wildlife.

For more information and to find a list of events, visit the Endangered Species Coalition Web site:

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