Many wildlife species are headed toward extinction, and many important habitats are being destroyed. The situation may seem hopeless, but if everyone makes a small effort we can make a big difference. Each one of us plays an important role in protecting wildlife and their homes. Here are some tips on how you can make a difference every day.
Become a Park Protector:
- Join NPCA. Help ensure that our national parks are protected for present and future generations.
- Sign Up for Park Lines, our free bi-weekly e-mail newsletter. We will keep you posted about issues impacting our parks, wildlife, and national treasures.
- Take Action! Visit our online action alerts to communicate with legislators and other decision-makers. It's easy, just fill out your name, address, and e-mail, choose a password and edit the letter we provide. Click send and your letter will automatically be sent to elected officials. Your voice can make a difference.
- Write a Letter to the Editor. The letter to the editor section is one of the most widely read sections of the newspaper and can reach a large audience. We’ve made it easy for you to contact your local newspaper with your views on national park issues, but editors want to hear from you in your own words.
Provide Wildlife Habitat:
- Plant a Native Garden. By starting a native garden in your own backyard, you can help stem the loss of native biodiversity, provide shelter and food for native wildlife, and reduce pollution. Learn to identify invasive species and remove them from your yard.
- Build a Bird House or Bat House. You can also help neighborhood birds and enjoy watching them by buying a birdfeeder and a birdbath, just be sure to keep them filled—birds come to rely on a food or water source.
Leave Nature as You Find It:
- Don’t feed wild animals. It may seem harmless enough, but dependant animals become less "wild" and therefore more susceptible to illness and predators, and begin to associate humans with food—a danger to both the animals and people. When in a wilderness area, keep all food items sealed in airtight containers, preferably suspended safely out of bear range on a high tree limb.
- Do not transport animals or plants into locations where they are not native. Because they have no natural enemies in their new habitat, invasive species disrupt native ecosystems and species that have evolved in harmony for thousands of years. And they do so quickly and without resistance.
- Do not bring your pets into the park. Do not take flowers, birds’ eggs, rocks, or anything else—except your trash—home with you.
- Conserve fossil fuels. Take public transportation, walk, or ride a bicycle instead of using a car. This will reduce air pollution, a serious threat facing many of our national parks. Turn off lights, radios, and the TV when you are not using them. Lower the temperature in your home at night to 68 degrees during winter months. Our energy consumption results in an accelerated rate of global warming, a trend that impacts habitat and migration patterns.
- Conserve water. Turning the water off when scrubbing dishes, taking shorter showers, turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, and watering your lawn in the early morning or late evening will help protect the integrity of our wetlands, a vital habitat that provides nearly half of North American bird species area for some aspect of their nesting or feeding.
Be an Educated Consumer:
- Don't buy products like tortoise shell, coral, or ivory made from threatened or endangered animals, and avoid ordering dishes like shark in restaurants. If you own a tropical aquarium, demand that your aquarium store purchases only fish that have been certified “cyanide-free,” to protect coral reefs.
- Take your own (reusable) bag to the store and try to buy products and food with little or no packaging. You will notice quickly how much less garbage and waste you produce. Instead of throwing out old toys, books, and clothes, donate them to a hospital, daycare, or charity.
"Every individual matters.
Every individual has a role to play.
Every individual makes a difference."
— Jane Goodall