Friday, January 29, 2010

Endangered Species Day 2010 to feature Sunchaser Challenge Adventure Race!


In celebration of Endangered Species Day, ESC is teaming up with Wild One Promotions to host 4 eco friendly adventure races across the country.

The first ever Sunchaser Challenge will take place from sunrise to sunset on May 22, 2010 at an array of scenic locations. There will be 4 Sunchaser Challenges - each one in a different US Time Zone! The 4 simultaneously run events will take place at the following sites:

  • North Lake Tahoe, California
  • Lake Havasu, Arizona
  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
  • Saranac Lake, New York

    The competitions will be endurance events for every level of ability. While the events are competitions, the atmosphere will be warm and friendly and completely welcoming to novices and seasoned endurance athletes alike. Participants can enter as teams or choose to compete solo. The races will combine trail running, mountain biking, road biking, kayaking and basic navigation. The goal of the challenge is to be the first team (or for the bold-individual) to "rescue" 50 of the nation's endangered animals from checkpoints located in activity zones throughout the event location.

    There will be prizes in each region for the highest number of animals "rescued" in the fastest time. Plus a bonus prize for the highest and fastest nation wide rescue. There will also be a "spirit of the event" award. As the day draws to a dramatic close, there will be a mass "treasure hunt" in each location. The treasure will be a unique, clebrity designed icon that will earn the finder a special prize. The icon will later be auctioned on TV with the proceeds benefitting Endangered Species Coalition. All donations raised for the Endangered Species Coalition will go towards protecting species at risk of extinction in their natural habitats.

    We're also proud to announce that the Sunchaser Challenge will be certified CarbonFree®. Wild Ones Promotions will be donating $1 per competitor to Carbonfund.org's reforestation projects to offset any associated carbon footprint and will be utilizing innovative "green" measures to make the events friendly to the planet you'll be racing on.


    Celebrate Endangered Species Day with us in this new and exciting adventure experience! For more information or to register your team, visit the Sunchaser website and become a fan on the Sunchasers Facebook page.
  • Friday, January 22, 2010

    Join the Endangered Species Day Art Contest!


    We're pleased to once again be part of the Endangered Species Day Art contest! The nationwide Endangered Species Day Art Contest provides students with an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. The contest is organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/ University of New Orleans. The deadline for entries is March 26th.

    For more information about the Endangered Species Day Art Contest, click here.

    Winners will be chosen in four categories: K-Grade 2, Grades 3-6, Grades 7-9, and Grades 10-12. From these, one national winner will be selected who will be honored with their name engraved on a special trophy designed by a gifted young artist, Meredith Graf of New Orleans, LA.

    Register for the Endangered Species Day Art Contest today!

    Endangered Species Day is a celebration of our nation's wildlife and wild places. Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is an opportunity to learn about endangered species and how you can help protect them. The art contest is an integral part of the fifth annual national Endangered Species Day, celebrated on and around May 21, 2010.

    Schools, scout troops and other educational institutions are encouraged to learn about our nation's wildlife, birds, fish and plants on the brink of extinction. For more information and for lesson places and other educational materials, visit www.EndangeredSpeciesDay.org

    Join us in celebrating our nation's incredible natural heritage! Celebrate Endangered Species Day and join the art contest! Thank you for your help to save endangered species.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    The Presbyterian Church's Call to Halt Mass Extinction

    This post is a part of our occasional series by Endangered Species Coalition Member Organizations.

    By Dr. Tom English, Creation Care Educator with the Presbyterian Church USA.

    Why did the Presbyterian Church issue "A Call to Halt Mass Extinction?" Isn't extinction a part of the normal lifecycle of life on this planet? Extinction is normal, however, today's situation is certainly extreme. Current extinction rates are greater than anything the planet has seen in 65 million years, when a large meteor slammed into the Earth and ended the reign of the dinosaurs. The noted Harvard professor, E. O. Wilson, has estimated conservatively that “Human activity has increased extinction between 1,000 and 10,000 times over this level [the normal rate] in the rain forest by reduction of area alone. Clearly we are in the midst of one of the great extinction spasms in geological history.”

    In response to this crisis, the Presbyterian Church states: "The Creator-Deliverer calls human communities to work with God to rectify the abuses whereby human impacts upon the Earth are leading to a mass extinction of living species. This mass extinction would fundamentally alter and undermine the life and well-being of the humans and other creatures that survive. It would rob all future generations of the gifts of wholeness and diversity that God intends."

    We are in the beginning of the Earth's sixth great mass extinction. This extinction is caused by a variety of factors including: habitat removal, invasive species, human population growth, pollution, and overharvesting. We are removing tropical rain forests at such a rate that they all will be eliminated within this century. More than half of all species live in tropical rainforests, and more than half of those species are endemic to the tropical rain forest. Thus destruction of tropical rain forests will drive more than 25% of Earth's species to extinction this century, unless we change our ways.

    In their landmark paper, "Extinction Risk from Climate Change" (Thomas et al. Nature 427, 145–148. January 8, 2004), Thompson et al show that Global Climate Change is having a similar impact on extinction of species as the destruction of tropical rainforests. Hence, the combined impact of both the destruction of tropical rainforest and global climate change, indicate that humanity will cause a mass extinction of more than half of all plant and animal species during the 21st century, unless we change our ways.

    Humans are the top-level predator of the planet today, so we will be severely impacted by a mass extinction. Randomly losing one half of the plants and animals in humanity's food web will ruin the food supply system for people over the entire Earth, leading to a collapse of the economic system of many countries. People will attempt to ease their suffering by migration to other countries. Global migration will increase international tensions causing nations to war with one another. Let's make sure that we use our intelligence to create a much better future for our children and future generations.

    Dr. English is the President of the TESSI Endangered Species Institute, and an Adjunct Professor at Palomar College. He worked at the U.S. EPA and advised President Carter's Office of Science and Technology Policy.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Happy New Year! Endangered Species Outlook for 2010

    Happy New Year! We are looking forward to working with you to protect our nation's disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places in 2010.

    This will be an exciting and important year for endangered species protections. The Obama Administration is working on changes to endangered species programs. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has stated that he will announce changes to Endangered Species Act regulations in 2010. Last year, the Obama Administration overturned several Bush Administration regulations that weakened endangered species protections and removed scientific consultation. (See our post Obama Administration Restores Endangered Species Act protections.) When they announced those changes, they began to collect public comment for how to more effectively administer the Endangered Species Act. At the time, the Endangered Species Coalition submitted suggestions about how to strengthen endangered species protections and thousands of our members also submitted comments. We expect the new proposed regulations early this year and we'll be following the process closely.

    In addition, the US Fish and Wildlife Service will be implementing the Climate Change Strategy, the federal plan to protect wildlife and wild places from the impacts of global warming. The Endangered Species Coalition and our member groups will be working closely with them to ensure that endangered species and their habitats are protected. In addition, we'll be pressing for greater protections for the polar bear, gray wolf, pacific salmon and other endangered species.

    In 2010, the Endangered Species Coalition and our member organizations will:


    Advocate for stronger protections for endangered species and their habitat;
    Identify and protect the species most at risk from global warming;

    Build public support for gray wolf recovery in Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies;
    Restore pacific salmon and the wild rivers where they live; and

    Organize Endangered Species Day, a celebration of our nation's endangered wildlife, birds, fish and plants

    Find out more about the Endangered Species Coalition's work and how to get involved, by clicking here.