AnimalsEarth DayEnvironment

Endangered Species Day: History, Events, and Celebrations

Endangered Species Day: The species that are at high risk of extinction are known as endangered species. There may be various reasons like loss of habitat, loss of population, etc. that increase the risk of a particular species becoming endangered or going extinct.


In the past, many species became endangered and slowly went extinct, but the rate of extinction has been quite high over the past few decades. This is a fact to worry about the loss of biodiversity mainly caused due to environmental exploitation.

In the 1960s, the concern about endangered species was taken on a serious note. Followed to this in 1972, the protection of endangered species was enacted with the laws “the U.S. Endangered Species Act.” Two federal agencies administer the act – the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Later on, in 2006, the day was observed as Endangered Species Day to grab the attention of people about the protection of endangered species. Since 2006, this event is observed every year on the 3rd Friday of May month.

This day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of the conservation of endangered species, their habitat, and necessary measures for their protection, etc. You can also be a part of this movement and contribute to the protection of endangered species.

This day provides an opportunity for every individual to make necessary conservation efforts for the protection of endangered species in their country.

Endangered Species Day History and Wiki

In 2006, Endangered Species Day came into existence as a day to honor the concern about these species. Many people participate in different ways to celebrate the day in support of the protection of endangered species.

Some people join the conservation group, whereas some people host events to raise awareness about the protection of these species. We have gone a long way from where it began, and now Endangered Species Day has become one of the popular movements for the conservation of endangered species.

In 2006, a senator of the United States declared that the movement started in 1972-73 will be carried out as Endangered Species Day every year. The day will be celebrated on the 3rd Friday of May month annually. In 2006 the beginning of the worldwide event was celebrated on 19th May.

In 2007, 18th May was the day we celebrated Endangered Species Day. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has updated a list of plant and animal species. These species were listed as candidates for conservation under ESA (Endangered Species Act). As per the list, there were 280 species selected for ESA protection (recognized by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service).

In 2008, 16th May was the date. Various events were organized to spread awareness about the conservation of endangered species. In America, more than 90 events were held across the country to celebrate the day.

In 2009, various conservation programs were organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the aim of conservation of endangered species. This year we celebrated Endangered Species Day on the 15th of May.


Endangered Species Act co-administered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to protect the threatened species and their habitat for the betterment of the ecosystem.

In 2010, Endangered Species Day celebrations were held on 21st May. The Fish and Wildlife Service was ready with plans to execute to protect these species.

In 2011, on 20th May, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cosponsored many events with various conservation organizations to celebrate this day.

In 2012, the critics of Endangered Species Day decided to test the rate of recovery of these species. Surprisingly the results were quite satisfying. Almost 90% of endangered species were recovering at a satisfactory rate. 18th May was the date in the year 2012.

In 2013, This day was observed as the 8th annual celebration on the 17th of May. The Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe said that Endangered Species Day is an excellent opportunity to recognize the work done by committed people for the protection of these species.

In 2014, it was the 9th annual celebration of Endangered Species Day. The day was celebrated on 16th May as a reminder to the world that many species have become endangered due to various environmental issues. We have to make all possible efforts to protect these species to maintain proper balance in the biodiversity & environment.

In 2015, on 15th May, the celebration of Endangered Species Day was organized with a lot of enthusiasm. Many young people participated in the annual Saving Endangered Species Youth art contest. Along with this, many other events (nearly 200 events) were organized across America to spread awareness about the conservation of these species.

The year 2016 was the 11th anniversary of Endangered Species Day on 20th May. In America, this day is celebrated with many special events and programs to recognize the efforts of protecting many endangered species of the country.

In 2017, on the 19th of May, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service employees had planned to raise awareness at local elementary schools about endangered species protection.

Also, the art contest for grades K-12 was organized, focusing on the protection of endangered species. This was the eighth annual art contest organized by the Arkansas Ecological Services Field Office in partnership with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission & Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.


There were more than 600 entries in this art contest from 36 schools. All the winning artwork (1st to 3rd place in all four age categories) was displayed through 1st June.

In 2018, The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the International Child Art Foundation & the Association of Zoos & Aquarium sponsored an event named “Saving Endangered Species.”

This was an art contest for the children in grades K-12 to celebrate Endangered Species Day 2018. The main objective of this contest was to make people aware of wildlife and the importance of protecting these species.

It was an excellent opportunity for everyone to contribute to the Endangered Species Day celebration, especially those who missed the chance last year.

In 2019, Endangered Species Day was celebrated on the 17th of May i.e., the third Friday of May month. UN’s biodiversity and ecosystem arm IPBES has reported at the start of this month. This report notifies that around one million species are endangered worldwide and are very close to extinction.

This was a very challenging picture that we came across last year. As per conservationist Rob Shumaker, “There is no time to delay, the action is needed now itself.” Everyone needs to put effort into protecting the endangered animals and their habitat as well.

Every individual effort will be counted to conserve the environment, which is must be required for the survival of all the creatures of the planet, including endangered animals.

Endangered Species Day 2020

We have celebrated the 15th anniversary of Endangered Species Day this year. The day was celebrated on 15th May 2020. It is a platform where each individual can show their support to conserve the threatened species worldwide.

Various events were organized to grab the attention of the world, expecting their valuable contributions. People participated in this day in several ways. For example:

  • People participated in the “Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest” to show their concern about protecting endangered species.
  • They Created their own local event to spread awareness about the protection of endangered species.
  • Volunteer in a clean-up program.
  • Recycle or choose to purchase sustainable products for the conservation of the habitat of endangered animals, etc.

Also Read: Ethics of Animal Use and Guidelines.

Endangered Species Day 2021

The World Endangered Species Day, specially dedicated to endangered organisms, was celebrated on the 21st of May.

  • A USA-based organization, Endangered Species Coalition, acted against the extinction of rare and valuable organisms every day.
  • On 22nd May, the Wolf Conservation Centre celebrated World Endangered Species Day by raising awareness about endangered wolves such as red wolves and Mexican grey wolves.
  • Audubon Society shared knowledge on social media about Hawaii’s most endangered seabird species, emphasizing that they are still present and need protection.
  • Mission Blue celebrated Endangered Species Day by raising its voice for the endangered Hawaiian monk seals.
  • In 2021, PETA declared that 69 big cats were seized from Tiger King Park, making the space free from tigers for the “ongoing Endangered Species Act Violation.”
  • Additionally, AWF showed gratitude towards the brave rangers and scouts for protecting Africa’s endangered species on this occasion.
  • Bat Conservation International celebrated Endangered Species Day 2021 by sharing interesting facts about the critically endangered Jamaican Flower Bat.
  • This year, Fort Worth Zoo asked for support to continue conservation efforts for the more than 50 endangered and threatened species, including Asian elephants and blue-throated macaws.
  • NOAA Fisheries also raised awareness for protecting, conserving, and recovering marine life and released a five-year action plan to save nine critically endangered species.

Besides, several other organizations also put efforts specifically to protect and conserve different species globally.

Also Read: World Animal Day Themes and Celebrations.

World Endangered Species Day 2022

Last year, various national and international organizations worked to raise awareness about saving endangered animals like blunt-nosed leopard lizards, North Pacific right whales, monk seals, Orinoco crocodiles, giant anemones, etc.

world endangered species day

Endangered Species Day 2022 was celebrated on May 20th, 2022. That year, some of the top endangered animals were the Javan Rhinoceros, the vaquita, the tiger, the mountain gorilla, the Asian elephant, the orangutan, leatherback turtles, etc.

That year, the Endangered Species Coalition organized an art competition for K-12 grade students to bring awareness about endangered species. Folks from the U.S. or U.S. territories could take part in that contest. The deadline was March 1st, 2022.

Another chalk art competition was held from May 20th, 2022, to May 22nd, 2022, to celebrate Endangered Species Day.

For the observation of Endangered Species Day 2022, another awareness program was going on. It encouraged people to take nature walks to identify 17 local animals or plants at that 17th-year ceremony.

Explore Uganda, an organization, raised awareness for saving endangered species on International Mother Earth Day. That was another contribution to celebrating Endangered Species Day.

Another organization stood for trees and encouraged people to donate towards community development, saving endangered species, wildlife habitats, biodiversity, etc.

Several events were also planned to shed light on the efforts of individuals and organizations to reduce environmental impacts. This was seen as the only way to save them from becoming extinct.

World Endangered Species Day 2023

Endangered Species Day 2023 took place on May 19th. As a significant milestone in wildlife conservation history, this year marked half a century since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed. A wide range of events and activities were held on this day to celebrate the day and the 50th anniversary of the ESA. Some of them are:

  • Zoo Atlanta held a three-day event from May 19-21. They increased their conservation efforts by doubling the amount of money from each ticket to support projects in Chile, North America, and Costa Rica. There were also family activities, games, and zookeeper talks.
  • ZooAmerica in Hershey, PA, celebrated for three days with special programs to teach people about endangered species. The purpose of the event was to educate people about how important it is to protect these animals.
  • Buena Vista Audubon Society in California hosted an event at their Nature Center. They provided educational activities, such as exploring the lagoon with microscopes and learning about local endangered species. It was both fun and informative for families.
  • Environment America highlighted successful stories from the Endangered Species Act, like the recovery of bald eagles and Florida Panthers. They also discussed ongoing conservation efforts and important legislation like the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which could help protect more species.
  • NOAA Fisheries promoted regional events in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, focusing on protecting marine life. During the event, they emphasized the importance of the Endangered Species Act in saving endangered marine species, as well as various conservation efforts that are being undertaken.

All the above events aimed to engage the public, raise awareness, and generate support.

Endangered Species Day 2024

The 17th of May is Endangered Species Day 2024, so there are going to be tons of events and activities to promote wildlife conservation. The following are some important events.

  • Endangered Species Coalition: Various programs will be hosted by the Endangered Species Coalition across wildlife refuges, schools, gardens, libraries, community groups, and museums. To engage the public in protecting endangered species, They are hosting educational events and hands-on conservation activities.
  • National Wildlife Federation: NWF encourages people to join local events and offers several ways to celebrate. You can use social media to post photos of wildlife, use educational resources to teach kids about biodiversity, and attend local events. They emphasize how far wildlife conservation has come since 1973 when the Endangered Species Act was passed.
  • NOAA Fisheries: Students can submit artwork that shows their knowledge of endangered marine species in NOAA Fisheries “Greater Atlantic Region Marine Endangered Species Art Contest”. It’s all about getting young people passionate about marine conservation.
  • Local and Regional Events: There’ll be events in New England and the Mid-Atlantic to celebrate marine life conservation, featuring community science projects, collaborative conservation initiatives, and education programs.

It’s a great way to learn about endangered species, get involved in conservation activities, and support ongoing efforts to protect the planet.

Name of Endangered Species

On The IUCN Red List, there are currently 157,100 species, of which 44,000 are threatened with extinction. The day-by-day change in the climate is affecting the environment of the planet. These environmental changes are not only affecting us but also affecting wildlife adversely. As a result, many species have been threatened and if not protected will be extinct very soon.

Some of the endangered species include:

  • Gorillas: Eastern and Western gorillas are critically endangered, except for the Mountain Gorilla, which is listed as endangered with a population of over 1,000 individuals.
  • Amur Leopard: Critically endangered with fewer than 100 individuals left in the wild.
  • Sea Turtles: Hawksbill and Kemp’s Ridley Sea turtles are critically endangered, while Leatherback Sea turtles are vulnerable but under threat. Also Check: World Turtle Day for more information.
  • Orangutans: Due to habitat loss and poaching, both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered.
  • Sumatran Elephant: It is critically endangered due to habitat destruction and conflict between humans and wild animals.
  • Saola: It’s critically endangered and extremely rare, known as the “Asian unicorn”.
  • Vaquita: The species is critically endangered with fewer than 10 individuals remaining, primarily due to illegal fishing practices.
  • Tigers: Tigers are endangered with approximately 5,574 tigers individuals left in the wild. The Sunda tiger is critically endangered and there are less than 400 of them left in the world. Also Check: World Tiger Day for more information.
  • Rhinoceroses: Javan and Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered, while the Black Rhino is also critically endangered. Due to poaching and habitat fragmentation, fewer than 80 Sumatrans remain. Also, there are only 74 Javan Rhinos left in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park.
  • Pangolin: Critically endangered due to heavy poaching for their scales and meat.
  • Western Prairie Fringed Orchid: Endangered due to habitat loss and changes in land use.
  • Yangtze Finless Porpoise: The population is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,800, and is declining rapidly because of pollution, ship strikes, and accidental captures in fishing gear.
  • Saiga Antelope: There’s been a dramatic decline in their population, due to disease outbreaks and illegal hunting for their horns.

How Can We Celebrate National Endangered Species Day?

Some Endangered Species Day 2024 activities are given below:

  • One of the best options to prove your dedication to wildlife & endangered species conservation is to join the National Wildlife Federation. You can also join animal welfare organizations and help conserve these species.
  • Take part in Endangered Species Day on social media and raise awareness. You can update your Facebook cover image and Instagram profile picture to promote this event worldwide. Also, share this article with your friends.
  • You can join Endangered Species Coalition Activist Network to get notified by email for taking necessary actions.
  • Awareness about endangered species protection, especially among children is very important to make them aware of the threats to wildlife and how they can help.
  • You can start tree planting (also flowers) to grab the attention of pollinators.
  • Start implementing the recycling process to deal with unwanted trash causing marine pollution.
  • To go the extra mile, you can set up fundraisers to support endangered species protection events and programs.
  • Another best way to celebrate this event is by sponsoring an endangered animal.
  • You can take the initiative to clean up your parks, beaches, rivers, etc. as it will also impact the conservation of endangered species.
  • Make use of Eco-friendly products and also recommend the same to others.
  • Make strict rules and regulations to control wildlife criminal activities to save endangered species.

Earth is home to millions of species including plants, animals, birds, humans, etc. All these species play their role in maintaining balance in the ecosystem. If any species becomes endangered it creates an imbalance in the ecosystem and food chain. We need to follow the rules and regulations of the Endangered Species Act for the protection of these species.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button