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Today, April 22, is Earth Day. Earth Day Network’s theme this year is “Protect Our Species”, so the organization is drawing attention to endangered and threatened species: bees, coral reefs, elephants, birds, insects, whales, and more.
“Nature’s gifts to our planet are the millions of species we know and love, and many more yet to be discovered,” the organizers write. “Unfortunately, human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature and as a result the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs over 60 million years ago. But unlike the fate of the dinosaurs, the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.
“The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of wild plant and animal populations is directly linked to human-induced causes: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few. The impacts are considerable. If we don’t act now, extinction could be humanity’s most enduring legacy.
Here are eight steps the Earth Day Network identifies that anyone can take to help birds:
1, turn off the lights in your home or office to prevent birds from colliding with windows. (Find products to help prevent window collisions here.)
2, Keep cats indoors to prevent them from chasing birds.
3. Continue to advocate for additional land protection for birds under the Endangered Species Act in the United States.
4, Take the Earth Day Network Pesticide Pledge to avoid using any pesticides or insecticides. Birds can ingest these harmful chemicals directly, and recent research has shown that these products can stay in the ground for months after use. And another study found that commonly used insecticides are directly toxic to seed-eating songbirds.
5, do not throw away. Waste should be properly disposed of and plastic should be recycled. Also, remove plastic litter when you see it to prevent birds from ingesting it. And don’t let go of balloons!
6, Take personal action to end plastic pollution.
7, Test your knowledge of the threats to ocean ecosystems with the Ocean Plastic Pollution Quiz.
8, Support the passage of the Bird-Safe Building Act.