Endangered Species Day!
Every year, on the third Friday in May, we celebrate Endangered Species Day. Endangered Species Day was founded in 2006 by David Robinson and the Endangered Species Coalition. The goal of this day is to celebrate, learn, and take action to protect threatened and endangered species.
What's an endangered species?
An endangered species is a species that is likely to become extinct. The IUCN Red List recognizes 16,364 species as endangered and 9,251 species as critically endangered. Most animals listed as endangered faced the same problems: habitat loss, poaching, invasive species, and general human impact.
The IUCN Red List lists 85 species of bats as endangered and 28 species as critically endangered. Lubee is home to three endangered species: the Rodrigues Fruit Bat, the Malayan Flying Fox, and the Spectacled Flying Fox. But across the world, most bat populations are in decline.
How does Lubee help?
Lubee does active conservation work in countries across the world, including the United States. This work includes research, education, and community engagement. In Florida and surrounding states, we install bat houses and conduct and participate in acoustic surveys and echolocation surveys. Internationally, we participate in habitat protection, food security, creating protected areas, population monitoring, job creation, and reforestation. We have seen these actions succeed; specifically, the Rodrigues Fruit Bat has an increasing population according to the IUCN Red List.
Endangered Species Act
This year, in 2023, we’re not only celebrating Endangered Species Day, but the 50 year anniversary of the passing of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the United States. The ESA establishes protection for fish, wildlife, and plants that are listed as threatened or endangered. It also adds and removes species from the list of protected species and outlines plans for protection and population recovery.
Logo designed by artist Nicole Bennion
US Fish and Wildlife lists 12 species of bat as threatened or endangered on the ESA. These species are: the Florida Bonneted Bat, the Gray Bat, the Hawaiian Hoary Bat, the Indiana Bat, the Little Mariana Fruit Bat, the Mariana Flying Fox, the Mexican Long-Nosed Bat, the Northern Long-Eared Bat, two subspecies of the Pacific Sheath-Tailed Bat, and the Virginia Big-Eared Bat.
The Florida Bonneted Bat is the only endangered bat in the state of Florida. It is listed on the ESA and as a Federally-designated Endangered species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species rule. This defines the Florida Bonneted Bat as an endangered species both by the federal government and by the Florida state government. Florida has a species action plan for protecting the Florida Bonneted Bat through habitat conservation and management and population monitoring and research. Not much is known about these bats, so studying their life history is important to better understand the species.
This year, Endangered Species Day is May 19th, 2023. Take this day as an opportunity to learn more about endangered species and support organizations that are working to prevent extinction.