Ten Things You Can Do To Help Imperiled Wildlife Survive Climate Change
1. Ride the subway, a bike or carpool to work. If everyone did this even once per week, it would make a significant difference in our country’s gasoline consumption. And by eliminating the threat of Arctic oil drilling, your grandchildren will live in a country that still have ringed, bearded and spotted seals. Drive a hybrid, electric or fuel efficient car, when you aren’t able to avoid using a car. Fuel efficiency of 30 MPG should be a minimum. Less oil, fewer fossil fuels mean more walruses.
2. Reduce your consumption of energy to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Use power strips to switch off multiple electronic devices at once. When buying new appliances and electronic devices, be sure to look for the highest Energy Star ratings. When renovating a home or building a new home, make sure to maximize its energy efficiency with insulation, proper siting and other means. Fossil fuel reduction is the number one way to save a polar bear.
3. Switch to sustainable energy sources for your home. The federal government and state agencies provide numerous incentives to switch to sustainable and renewable energy sources, such as solar power. Even if you aren’t able to install solar panels on your roof, you may be able to buy renewable energy from your energy company. For more information on government incentives, see: http://dsireusa.org/. The black warrior waterdog and our other native salamanders will thank you.
4. Conserve & clean water. By conserving water in your home and garden, you minimize your impact on waterways that are increasingly becoming too dry and too hot for wildlife, particularly in the West. Chinook salmon can then swim free once again. Clean waterways near your home, by participating or initiating neighborhood clean-up days and/or watershed restoration. Many watersheds around the country will be particularly impacted by climate change. Reduce pressure on these watersheds, by keeping them as clean as possible and volunteering to restore them. The Sierra Nevada mountain yellow-legged frog will likely come croaking back.
5. Eradicate invasive plants. Invasive plants can be particularly harmful in a time of climate change. As some ecosystems become drier, some invasives can make habitats much more susceptible to fire. Planting only natives and eradicating invasive plants will help keep these habitats natural and safe from threats such as fire. And the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl can keep its home.
6. Write letters-to-the-editor. Follow the news and respond when there’s an article on climate change. Seek other opportunities to become a spokesperson about protecting your region’s wildlife from climate change, such as creating an Endangered Species Day event in your community. See http://www.EndangeredSpeciesDay.org. Become an expert in the climate change impacts to wildlife in your area.
7. Buy local & sustainable. Locally made products that aren’t shipped huge distances reduce fuel consumption. Sustainable products, such as recycled paper, Forest Stewardship Council wood and shade-grown coffee help maintain forest cover—essential for carbon absorption. You will ensure that birds like the golden-winged warbler have a beautifully lush migratory stop intact.
8. Eat better. Grow your own food, buy locally grown or organic food, eat lower on the food chain and organize farmers markets. Eating better will reduce the use of fertilizers, decrease the pressure from cattle grazing on fragile habitats in the West, and decrease the fuel used to process, package and transport foods. The Quino checkerspot butterfly will flutter once more.
9. Become a transition town. Visit Transition Network at http://transitionnetwork.org/ to find out how you can get started transitioning your town away from fossil fuels! You will improve the Gunnison-sage grouse’s chance to recover.
10. Take action. Contact your elected officials and tell them to protect places for endangered species in a warming world. You’ll be doing an incredible favor for lynx, whooping cranes, bluefin tuna, Western prairie-fringed orchids and many more animals, birds, fish and plants!