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Top 10 Ways to Help Endangered Species

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Sean Harris. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are over 19,000 species are currently threatened with extinction– and the problem is only getting worse! In this video, MsMojo counts down our picks for the Top 10 Ways to Help Endangered Species. For this list, we’ve looked at the best ways to protect endangered animals and to preserve their existence. Special thanks to WordToTheWes for submitting this idea on our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.MsMojo.tv
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Transcript
Script written by Sean Harris.

Top 10 Ways to Help Endangered Species


According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are over 19,000 species are currently threatened with extinction– and the problem is only getting worse! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for Top 10 Ways to Help Endangered Species.

For this list, we’ve looked at the best ways to protect endangered animals and to preserve their existence.

#10: Increase Our Knowledge

Let’s begin with the basics, as a little knowledge can go a long way. The IUCN’s ‘Red List’ shows an upward trend in the number of endangered animals since it was first released onto the worldwide web, in the year 2000. One in four mammals, one in eight birds, one third of all amphibians and around 70% of the world’s plant life are reportedly under significant threat of extinction. And while statistics differ depending on the source, the numbers routinely make for harsher reading every year. By taking an interest in the problem, you begin to help solve it. And you don’t have to tackle the whole world’s issues either – check out local initiatives to make a difference closer to home.

#9: Reduce the Threat of Invasive Species

An invasive species is any non-native plant or animal entering into an environment and unbalancing it in some way. The problem, which is commonly caused by mistakes in international trade and transport, sees ‘foreign’ species disrupt settled ecosystems either as an unwanted predator, by spreading disease or by simply outnumbering other species over time. Intentional actions can also cause an invasion, such as in 1930s Australia when cane toads were introduced to control the cane beetle, only to see the toads overrun the country themselves! The problem naturally becomes increasingly difficult to manage, but by tightening transport procedures and safety measures, some invasions can be avoided.

#8: Raise Awareness

It’s amazing what a little ‘word of mouth’ can achieve, and one of the best ways to help endangered species is to keep talking about them. If you know about an animal’s plight, or the worrying status of a tree species, then impart your wisdom onto others! It doesn’t have to be much, and you don’t necessarily need to be collecting donations, just spread the word! Of course, the onus is on the authorities as well to ensure that endangered animals is a topic regularly covered in school, and that animal protection laws are clear and routinely brought up in government.

#7: Say No to Pesticides and Chemical Fertilizers

The temptation to use herbicides and pesticides in the agricultural industry is huge, to the point where many growers see it as a necessity. While herbicides ensure that no unwanted vegetation grows on or near a crop, pesticides ensure that unwanted critters aren’t eating it! The use of chemicals on farmland is subject to a wide range of laws all around the world, and some substances are deemed less harmful than others. But their toxins pose an everyday risk to ecosystems, and sometimes to us as consumers! Where possible, try to eat organically farmed produce; it may cost a little extra and sometimes look a little strange, but it’s way better for the environment!

#6: Recycle

According to Endangered Species International, we use around 260 million tons of plastic annually, plastic accounts for around 60-80% of marine debris, and some plastics remain in the environment for hundreds of years. Animals injure themselves on our trash every day, or unknowingly ingest it, and floating plastics can even be linked to the spread of invasive species mentioned earlier. At the very least, don’t litter! But recycling is one of the simplest things you can do to help the environment. If more people recycled, fewer products would be needed, less energy would be used making those products, less space and fuel would be required and fewer animals would be displaced. It’s a chain reaction, and you can play your part by reusing and recycling.

#5: Build a Wildlife Garden

This one is achievable on a large or small scale. In an ideal world, we’d all like to plant swathes of new trees, which would be great but not always possible. However, what is possible for anyone with a little spare space is a wildlife garden. The UK’s Wildlife Trusts estimates that there are 16 million gardens in Great Britain; if every one of those provided a service to the natural world, think how beneficial it could be. Replace stark fences with lush hedges, build a pond to attract insects, provide higher ledges to attract birds, and hold back on the weed killer. Then sit back and watch nature thrive outside your window.

#4: Volunteer at a Wildlife Agency

There are plenty of admirable projects going on all over the world that need your services, but you don’t always need to be on far-flung frontlines saving Orangutans in Borneo to make a difference. Wildlife agencies and initiatives require help and support at all stages. The UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or RSPCA, relies on volunteer administrators, drivers, photographers and public speakers just as much as those who help directly with animal care. It’s also the oldest and largest organization of its kind. By volunteering at a wildlife agency not only are you helping to protect endangered species, but you’re also developing yourself as an individual. It’s win/win!

#3: Set Up a Sponsorship and Make Donations to Charity

Here’s where you can help endangered species, and have a lot of fun at the same time. Sponsorships are a great way for people to raise funds without causing too much disruption to their daily lives. And there’s usually two main ways of getting noticed and getting donations – either do something that’s really difficult, or something that’s really crazy. Run a marathon, or wear your clothes backwards for a week; climb a mountain, or cut off all your hair! But be sure to keep the focus on the cause! It’s not about you, it’s about rebuilding animals’ lives and restoring habitats across the world!

#2: Stop Purchasing Products Made from Endangered Animals

This may seem a little obvious, but illegal trade is an on-going, international problem. And sometimes the legislation gets confusing between one nation and another. The World Wildlife Fund has a ‘buyer beware’ guide, on which it implores tourists not to buy ivory (either raw or carved), any tiger, rhino or sea turtle product, or any live monkey or ape – among other things. The list also advises against purchasing crocodile or snakeskin products, live birds, wild feathers, and orchids. Common sense rules to a certain degree though – if it looks as though a plant or animal may have been needlessly killed to make it, then don’t buy it.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Slow Down When Driving

Keep an Indoor Cat

Place Decals on Windows


#1: Enjoy a Low Impact Diet

We may sometimes feel a little insignificant, and wonder what we can really do to help an endangered species so far removed from our everyday lives, but change really does ‘begin at home’. We all eat, every single day, and we can make a difference with our diets. Use natural products in meals, and try to source them locally; stop wasting food, and cook in one pan using as little energy as possible; grow a herb garden of your own, and support local businesses rather than big, often unreliable brands. There are few things more satisfying than a meal that you know has had minimal impact on the environment, on the natural world, and on endangered species.

Do you agree with our list? How else can we help endangered species? For more crucial top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.
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