Animals and plants all across the world are being endangered or extinct every year due to issues like environmental changes or over-hunting. Some people are working to prevent the extinction of species and have created the Endangered Species Act to help. Despite all the species that are still endangered many species have survived and are now beginning to thrive again in the world. Just like these people who dedicate their lives to protecting these species, you are able to help out and save these animals too.

In 1937, the Endangered Species Act was enacted by Congress. Under this act, the federal government has a responsibility to protect endangered species (a species that is likely to become extinct), threatened species (species that are likely to become endangered), and critical habitat (areas important to the survival of endangered and threatened species). This act is very important because it saves our native plants and animals from going extinct. Once a species has gone extinct, they are gone forever and the impact that this has on the ecosystem can be disastrous.

In order for a species to be considered endangered or threatened the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service investigates the health of a species, they look at scientific data collected by local, state, and national scientists. When deciding whether a species should be added to the Endangered Species List, they must look at things such if a large percentage of the species has been destroyed and if there are any man-made factors threatening the long-term survival of the species.

Even though many species remain endangered to this day, there are many stories of species that have come back, such as the Bald Eagle and the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. These stories prove that there is a way to save these species from extinction. You are able to help protect these animals just by donated to organizations who work to protect them. On the third Friday in May of each year, a day was set called Endangered Species Day where you are able to celebrate the successful return of many species and learn of others that are still struggling to survive.

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