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Endangered Species Day Is May 15

LINCOLN – May 15 is the 10th Annual Endangered Species Day, a day to bring attention to threatened and endangered plants and animals, as well as to recognize the plants and animals that contribute to the biological diversity of our nation.

“Biodiversity is important for maintaining healthy, resilient ecosystems that provide numerous benefits to wildlife and people,” said Melissa Panella, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission fish and wildlife biologist. “The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project, part of a nationwide effort to address the needs of declining wildlife, supports many efforts throughout our state and beyond Nebraska’s borders to benefit and aid in the recovery of our at-risk species.”

In 2005, the U.S. Senate designated the third Friday in May as Endangered Species Day. When Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973, it recognized that a rich natural heritage is of “esthetic, ecological, educational, recreational, and scientific value to our nation and its people.” The Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act provides legal protection for 27 state-listed species.

The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project partners with agencies, organizations, and landowners to improve wildlife habitat. Threatened and endangered plants and animals that benefit from the program include whooping crane, pallid sturgeon, swift fox, North American river otter, Hayden’s blowout penstemon, and more.

There are many practical ways to take action for endangered species, including litter clean-ups, recycling, reducing the footprint of consumption, and planting native trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers.

Those interested in making a tax-deductible donation to support wildlife and prevent the need for more Endangered Species listings can remember the wildlife conservation fund check-off program when filing taxes or make a direct donation any time of year at: outdoornebraska.ne.gov/wildlife/programs/nongame/checkoff.asp.

For more information, contact Panella at melissa.panella@nebraska.gov.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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