Endangered Species Day
May 18 was Endangered Species Day. Over 16,000 species of plants and animals are endangered, and threatened with extinction. While extinction is a natural part of our world’s process, the rate at which animals and plants are disappearing from our ecosystem is alarming.
Thanksgiving Coffee has partnered with animal and environmental conservation groups all over the world to combat extinction. We believe in preserving the entities that make our world vibrant and whole. We want to make sure that future generations have the same opportunity to live among the creatures that we have.
Just this year, our planet lost the very last male Northern White Rhino. Sudan was 45 years old, and living at a conservancy in Kenya. This devastating loss was inevitable, after Northern White Rhinos had been maliciously poached for years. Even just sixty years ago, there were several thousand Northern White Rhinos. Today there are just two females left, at the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy.
Below is a picture from Baby Rhino Rescue, one of our Cause Coffee partners who is raising money for orphaned rhino conservation groups in Africa.
The majestic wolves of North America may soon see a similar story unfold. Less than a decade ago, Congress stripped gray wolves of their protections. Wolves went straight from protected (under the Endangered Species Act) to being hunted in a single day, and their populations have plummeted in the years since.
Below is a photo from Defenders of Wildlife, one of our Cause Coffee partners that is protecting the rights of wild animals through legislation.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the largest ape in the world is critically endangered, with few of its kind in captivity. If we were to see a large decline in these Grauer’s Gorillas numbers, there is a possibility that this animal could be lost to us forever. Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda are also critically endangered, but thanks to the conservation efforts of programs like the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, we are seeing their numbers rise instead of fall. With the DFGFI’s expansion into Congolese mountains, we hope to see the same happen for the Grauer’s Gorillas populations.
Below is a photo from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, of a baby mountain gorilla in Rwanda. The DFGFI is one of our Cause Coffee partners.
Perhaps the most terrifying addition to the Endangered Species list in recent years is the Rusty Patched Bumblebee. When Northern White Rhinos disappear and Grauer’s Gorillas numbers drop, it’s easier for humanity to turn a blind eye. When our food supply is endangered by lack of pollinators, the world takes more notice. Pollinators are responsible for a third of everything we eat, and the decline of bees due to colony collapse and pesticide poisoning is a very serious problem for our global ecosystem.
Below is a photo from the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens of our very important pollinators! Thanksgiving Coffee partners with the Noyo Food Forest to protect Mendocino’s bee populations.
Our earth needs balance. Every creature is important in keeping the world’s biodiversity stable and growing. Humanity has dealt a harsh blow to the earth, but we have an opportunity to give back by taking care of the natural wonders we have around us. Whether it’s spending time at a beach cleanup day, signing up for a monthly donation to a conservation group or swearing off plastics, we each have a part to play in protecting our environment.
Last Friday may have been Endangered Species Day, but the wild animals and plants of this world are important every day. Our diversity is what makes this planet so special, and Thanksgiving Coffee is proud to stand with organizations that are making a difference. Take some time to research the Endangered Species Act, and learn more about why wildlife and natural resources are so important.