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How to Help Endangered Species

Melanie has a BS in physical science and is in grad school for analytics and modeling. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.

Manatees share the same fate as green sea turtles.

Manatees share the same fate as green sea turtles.

Protecting endangered species is important in maintaining biodiversity on our beautiful planet. There is a wide range of organizations, nature reserves, and zoos that work in keeping endangered animals from going extinct.

As we modernize, we're able to offer more benefits to animals (such as "green" technology), but we're also doing more damage (chemical spills, tearing down forests, etc.)

Because of the aforementioned pitfalls, preventing extinction is weighing on the shoulders of every individual, not just a few small organizations.

Fortunately, there is a lot that just one person (like you) can do to make a huge difference! The following is a list of the things that you (and your friends) can do to help species in your area and throughout the world.

Polar bear populations are an important indicator of climate change.

Polar bear populations are an important indicator of climate change.

Introduce Native Plants to Your Garden

This may seem like a small step, but planting native flora can really help local animal species. Birds and butterflies in your area love to feed on local plants. In fact, they've been feeding on these types of plants for thousands of years!

This will attract more birds and butterflies to your garden (which makes it extra pretty) and could save their lives. Plants meant for another region of the world could actually be harmful to some animals!

If you would like to keep non-native plants in your garden, destroy their seeds so they don't get carried off by birds (or the wind) and sprout somewhere else. Some non-native plants can get become invasive and push out the native flora.

The northern spotted owl is a threatened species

The northern spotted owl is a threatened species

Green sea turtles have been around for 100 million years, but in recent years have been threatened and made endangered by humans.

Green sea turtles have been around for 100 million years, but in recent years have been threatened and made endangered by humans.

Eat Organic (and Don't Use Chemical Pesticides)

Pesticides do a lot of damage to animal populations and they're also unhealthy for you! Avoid buying fruits and vegetables grown on farms that use pesticides by buying organic food (or even growing your own!)

Organic food does have a few downfalls, it's a bit more expensive, doesn't look as pretty, and goes bad more quickly. However, the tradeoff is that they taste way better (the difference in flavor is way noticeable), they're healthier for you, and they're way better for the environment than the alternative.

If you grow your own fruits and veggies, you can make your own environmentally safe pesticides at home. This will save you money and keep insects off your veggies. And, of course, you'll want to fence off your plants to keep hungry squirrels and rabbits off your crop.

Pandas are threatened by the clearing of forests for farming and housing.

Pandas are threatened by the clearing of forests for farming and housing.

Invite Wildlife Into Your Yard

You don't exactly have to be Snow White and invite deer, skunk, and rabbits into your yard, but make your backyard more friendly to local wildlife. Put up a bird feeder and fill it with seeds from local plants (see the first section on native plants.)

If you have hummingbirds in your area, get a feeder and buy nectar (or grow flowers that hummingbirds like.)

If you'd like to attract a lot of pretty native birds, set up a bird bath. You'll see colorful birds playing there in no time!

Are you a cat owner? Keep your cats in the house. Not only is this safer for your kitty, but birds really don't like to hang out in a yard belonging to a cat.

Set up a squirrel feeder. This will give squirrels something to eat other than the bird seed. You can try buying a tricky bird feeder that makes it difficult for squirrels to snack on bird seed, but for whatever reason, they always seem to figure out those tricks. Your best bet is to just feed the squirrels their own, separate meal.

Learn About Local Endangered Species

The largest impact you can make for endangered species is learning about (and doing work for) endangered species in your area.

If you live in the United States, you can find out which species are endangered by searching for your county in the database at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program.

To find out ways to help, you can contact your area's Department of Natural Resources or contact your nearest university's biology department.

This cute, little bird (Piping Plover) is endangered in my area. What plants and animals are endangered where you live?

This cute, little bird (Piping Plover) is endangered in my area. What plants and animals are endangered where you live?

Make Your Voice Heard

Get your message out to more people. This can make an enormous difference, because you may inspire others to get involved.

  • Tell friends and family about endangered species and enlist their help. The more the merrier!
  • Start a group that aims to protect areas that are near and dear to the residents of your town.
  • Write newspaper editorials about the environment to engage a large audience.
  • Arrange a meeting with the local radio station -- you might even get to make your message heard over the airwaves.
  • Set up a booth at a festival to teach fair-goers how they can make a positive impact.
The only place in the world Siberian Tigers live in the wild (marked in red.)

The only place in the world Siberian Tigers live in the wild (marked in red.)

Wildlife Organizations That Need YOUR Help

  • The Sierra Club
  • African Wildlife Foundation
  • World Wildlife Fund

Join An Organization

There are several organizations that would love to have your help! Write down a list of the types of activities you would like to get involved in. This will help you find an organization where you can make the biggest impact.

You can join an organization in your area (like a college club or the area's zoo) or you can get involved with a larger international organization.

While working with an organization, you can meet others who share similar interests and have a lot of fun working toward a common goal.

Being a part of a wildlife organization is a really awesome way to get involved in an issue you care about and make a huge difference. I work with Greenpeace and wouldn't trade the experience for anything!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2012 Melanie Shebel


livingsta from United Kingdom on December 03, 2012:

This is an eye opener, has made me think. Thank you for this wonderful hub. Voted up , awesome and sharing!

newusedcarssacram from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A on December 02, 2012:

This is a wonderful and appreciable hub indeed. I really find it so useful while reading.

Thanks for sharing and congrats...

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on December 02, 2012:

I can't believe I didn't find this hub earlier! Wow...I didn't realize there were so many small things we can do to help protect endangered species by just making small changes. I'll check out the organic food today when I get groceries, maybe I can start by changing a few items each week. I loved this hub! Well done! :)

Written Up from Oklahoma City, OK on July 11, 2012:

Well written, thought provoking. Makes me want to do more, which I guess is the point!

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on July 09, 2012:

Well done on getting 'Hub of the Day.'

Prasanna Marlin from Sri lanka on July 09, 2012:

Beautiful and Very good advice. Great article

Congrats on getting " Hub of the the Day "

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on July 09, 2012:

This is a great Hub with beautiful photos melbel! Very well written on a very important topic! We have to protect the endangered species around us. We all can do a small part! Congrats on the Hub of the Day! Well deserved! Voted and shared.


JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on July 09, 2012:

Many consumer habits directly or indiretly affect endangered animals. The moment we realize what effects we have on these animals the faster we can change our habits.

Dancing Water on July 09, 2012:

This a wonderful, clear, beautifully written hub! I do all of the above, but there is one point not in your hub that for some is controversial: If we humans don't stop overproducing ourselves, all of the wonderful ideas you have so eloquently expressed in your hub will not save our planet. Perhaps I should write a hub about overpopulation and its dire impact on our planet. Or would you do so, please? You have a great following, and I would so love to see our planet achieve zero human population growth. Voting up! Thank you again for such an important hub, melbel! You have a beautiful heart!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 09, 2012:

A Stellar Hub! I hope it reaches the vast majority that don't seem to give a darn about ecology. Every little thing that we do to protect our wild like counts. It is a team effort that needs to involve a massive number of human beings. And Congrats on HOTD!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 09, 2012:

Hopefully we can all do at least a little bit to help make a difference. My little grandson and all little grandsons and granddaughters need to be able to see the inhabitants of our planet that are in such a fragile situation at the moment. Thank you for sharing this with us. Voted up. Congratulations on hub of the day.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on July 09, 2012:

Excellent information, Mel, and wonderfully presented. I love all the hints for protecting the wildlife around us. So many people are quick to preach to do it but never give instructions on the "how!" You didn't preach and you offered easy things anyone can do, anywhere. VUMS.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on July 09, 2012:

Everyone needs to be aware of this. When a species goes extinct it's gone forever. Shame on us for letting it happen. You are correct in that we can all make a difference and it's starts at home with the little things. Excellent Hub. Voting up, Sharing.....

Stephanie Henkel from USA on July 09, 2012:

Congratulations on your well-deserved HOTD! One of the things that made your article outstanding is that it pointed out ways for the ordinary person to make a positive difference. I particularly appreciated your note about planting native species and destroying seeds of non-native species in your garden. Non-native species can crowd out native species of plants that are valuable food sources and shelter for native birds and animals. Look at the damage that kudzu is doing in the south!

On a personal note, I was interested to see the picture of the piping plover in your article as there is quite a controversy in the Outer Banks over beach closures in some areas of the National Seashore to protect their nesting grounds. It seems that there are just times when we must put the environment first!

ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on July 09, 2012:


Awesome job that certainly deserves HOTD recognition for the important topic and excellent write up! Quite clearly, we can do more around here but with two dogs and four cats...we will never be bird friendly.

We do eat organic, recycle, and cut up our plastic crap.

Great job!


Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on July 09, 2012:

Voted up and interesting. Thanks you for this very interesting and informative hub. I'm all for helping animals. I do as much as I can and sign each petition to protect them that comes my way and am in a Wildlife protection group on FB. Passing this on.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 09, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD! Well done!

We have a small fountain the birds love, and a couple of almond trees that the squirrels love. It's just as well I'm not crazy about almonds, as we never get any. The squirrels are into them before they are even ripe!

Our kitties all live indoors only, but there are a few neighbors who think it's "ok" to let their cats roam, so there's no point in putting up bird feeders. We just let the crows, jays, mourning doves, finches, humming birds and others do their own thing in the trees.

Voted up, interesting and useful.

Jenn from Pennsylvania on July 09, 2012:

Great tips! I don't understand why people can't just enjoy and appreciate nature instead of destroying it. Voted up and more!

Mrs. Menagerie from The Zoo on July 09, 2012:

Thank you for writing this hub and sharing such important information. Here is one more worthy organization...


Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on July 09, 2012:

Great hub with awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing it,Melbel. Voted up!

Congratulations on Hub of the day!

carozy on July 09, 2012:

Great hub, congratulations on writing a Hub of the Day!

shea duane from new jersey on July 09, 2012:

Great hub.... last night, there were two deer eating plums from my tree in my front yard. I was so happy!

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on July 09, 2012:

Very nicely done, Melanie! The pictures and the writing were both amazing. Congratulations on HOTD! You really deserved it!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 09, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD! I live in S. Fl. and we have manatees and the seaturtles that I get very concerned about. Our county is trying very hard to help these creature, but the boaters speed and injure or kill the manatee, and the poor little seaturtles don't have much of a chance getting into the ocean after they hatch. Some idiots even steal the eggs if they can!

Great Hub. I voted it UP and will certainly share.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 09, 2012:

Melanie - Congrats! This is really "ALL THAT" and a piece of cornbread! Way to go - beautiful, informative, interesting....terrific photos!

Loved it! Up and everything!

Marissa from United States on July 09, 2012:

Just coming back to say congrats on the Hub of the Day!

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on July 09, 2012:

Mel, congratulations on Hub of the Day. Awesome advice to help the planet including ourselves by protecting our biodiversity.

Tammy from North Carolina on July 09, 2012:

This is one of the best hubs of the day I have seen to date. Fabulous photos! Congratulations on your well deserved honor.

Jenna Pope from Southern California on July 09, 2012:

Very good Hub! Animals deserve our consideration. They were here first. Voted up.

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on July 09, 2012:

Congrats on the hub of the day designationa! Way to go! Such an important topic too.

daskittlez69 from midwest on July 09, 2012:

Thanks for the great Hub!!!

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on July 09, 2012:

"Make your voice heard" for sure. There is just too much ignorance and arrogance around. First, people just don't know what is our endangered flora and fauna and second, many think of our top endangered predators as Varmints. For example, there are many people who believe that wolves are a threat to humans and livestock and support their hunting indiscriminately. Then there are those who think all endangered wildlife will survive only till it has to survive and then it will go extinct just like many others before it. They don't realize that most of the flora and fauna of today is not endangered because of nature's course, but because of human interference.

An awesome hub that can quickly make a reader do something practically for saving our precious natural heritage. Thanks for writing and sharing.

Peter V from At the Beach in Florida on July 09, 2012:

While I was living on Okinawa, Japan, I had the fun opportunity to go snorkeling with sea turtles several times. It was so much fun, and they are the coolest things to watch as they glide through the water. It would be sad for these guys to disappear! Nice hub!

kelleyward on July 09, 2012:

Congrats Meanie on the HOTD! After reading this I realize, although I'm doing some things you mentioned to help protect the endangered species where I live, there are more things I can be doing. My middle son is an avid animal lover so I'm thinking about getting him involved more in protecting animals in our neck of the woods. Awesome hub! Kelley

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on July 09, 2012:

Melbel - What I really like about this list of suggestions is that they are very easy to implement and have a lot of benefits for us people as well as wildlife. I am definitely going to get a hummingbird feeder and I think one for finches too. Congratulations on Hub of the Day; what a great way to get the word out on protecting endangered species.

Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on July 09, 2012:

Adorable pictures. Birds enjoy my yard. Birdbath, Plants, wren and blue bird houses. It helps to keep things watered too. I have been environmentally inspired by a few college classes, so I enjoy your article too.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on July 09, 2012:

I love the idea of introducing native plants into the garden and inviting wildlife into the yard, besides joining organizations to protect wildlife. Congrats on Hub of the Day, a well-deserved award!

whonunuwho from United States on July 09, 2012:

A wonderful hub and very timely. We have got to all chip in and do our share of good stewardship in order to maintain the biological balance and preserve our lives as well.

Ashish Joshi from India on July 09, 2012:

Awesome hub....no surprise here it went on to be hub of the day! Congratulations...

Looking forward to follow some of the great advice here...

Thanks for this great write.

'up' and much...and shared of course!!!

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on July 09, 2012:

Your article is a beautiful way to say we all can do something to save endangered species. If we all take positive action it will contribute to the health of planet earth.

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on July 09, 2012:

Congrats on the HOTD award! Very interesting hub.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on July 09, 2012:

Melanie, I remember reading this Hub before and I must have not left a message. This is such a great Hub - no wonder you earned the Hub of the Day today! 7-9-12! Congratulations!

Your pictures, layout, and explanations are wonderfully informative. And those polar bear pictures are just too cute. I've added a couple of your suggestions to my own garden over the years. Native plants are so much easier to care for and they thrive beautifully in their natural zone. Well, it paid off. I have a beautiful assortment of butterflies, humming birds and even parrots that visit me pretty often. Thanks for a great read and congrats again on the HoD!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on July 09, 2012:

I had to come back and say congrats on your Hub of the Day. I had a feeling this would get it - it's that good! :D

Anna from New York, NY on July 09, 2012:

Congrats on getting "Hub of the the Day" with such an important topic and great advice. I want to be able to help protect endangered species and from your suggestions can tick off "eat organic" since I only buy organic products but I'm about to check off "join an organization" by checking out the three you recommend and joining one and try to be active in it.

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on July 09, 2012:


Congratulations on your Hub receiving the *Hub of the Day* designation. Well done!

Pamela Dapples from Arizona now on June 26, 2012:

Very good article and so many good points in it.

One excellent organization that came to my mind when I was reading this hub is the Fur Bearer Defenders. This is an organization in Canada since 1944 -- trying to help the animals.


Voting up and useful.

Marissa from United States on June 26, 2012:

Melbel, these are awesome tips that anyone can follow. It's a shame that organic food has to be so expensive; you would think something that is grown so simply would be inexpensive! I'm trying to grow as much of my own veggies at home to save some money, and I'm using organic pesticide to keep the plants bug free. I'm glad that's on your list and I can do that much!

Voted up, awesome, and sharing!

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on June 26, 2012:

Melbel: This an example of why you rock! The article is very well written and provided not only examples of how people can make a difference, but also makes a great example of how to write a great hub. Well done... DMT

Ionizer2012 from Kirkland, WA on June 21, 2012:

Great article, if were not careful, these precious animals will only be pics in books.

Yvonne Spence from UK on June 13, 2012:

This is great, I love how you’ve included eating organic as a way to help animals. Not so obvious perhaps, but very true. Your other suggestions are great as well, and of course the pictures are gorgeous - yes even that one at the top, though I’m not sure if she’s an endangered animal? :-)

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 01, 2012:

Very good advice. I've making small inroads into this. I'm trying my hand and planting more flowers to attract butterflies. I'm also growing my own veg. I'll definitely be looking at your hub on homemade organic insecticide.

Sarah Johnson from Charleston, South Carolina on June 01, 2012:

Thanks for a very important reminder about protecting, and enjoying, animals. We love hummingbirds and make our own sugar-water nectar. If you want to feed the deer, just plant some cucumber - I noticed they just ate all of mine! Awesome hub!

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 31, 2012:

Rated Up and Awesome - This is good work for the environment as well as a good piece of writing and illustrating.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on May 31, 2012:

Beautiful, well-said, well-written hub. I'm so into the green movement that your hub really caught my eye. Thank you for writing this - because one person really CAN make a difference. It takes a lot of people to make a difference to really instigate change. Bravo!

mwilliams66 from Left Coast, USA on May 31, 2012:

Melbel you've written another fantastic hub. The protection of endangered species is a great passion of mine.

Though always a lover a animals I had no idea about the plights of so many species until I was in 5th grade(a long time ago). At that time, I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who saw something in my writing. He was very passionate about getting the California Condor onto the endangered species list. I was asked to write about the child's perspective on this subject. This evoked a lifelong passion in me as well.

I truly believe that hubs such as this, are exactly what is needed to bring about change.

Well done!

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