Endangered Species: 5 Ways You Can Help

Pick one thing on this list to start doing today. In no time, you’ll be an endangered species superhero!


1. Learn about endangered species—especially the ones in your own area. When you think of endangered species, you may think of the giant panda or the blue whale. But there may be a bird, a frog, or even a plant that lives near you and needs help.

2.  Make your own yard a habitat for wildlife. Fill your garden with native plants—ones that grow naturally in your area. Insects such as butterflies and bees—including some that are endangered—use those plants for food and shelter.

3.  Don’t buy products made from endangered or threatened species. When you travel outside the United States, say “no, thank” to souvenirs made from tortoise shell, ivory, coral, and fur.

4.  Don’t use products that harm wildlife. Try to use less throwaway plastic, which can end up in the ocean and hurt marine animals. And encourage your family to avoid using chemicals in the yard that can harm insects and birds.

Also, be picky about palm oil. Palm oil is often used to make chocolate bars, cookies, soaps, shampoos, and other products. Many rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia are being cut down to grow oil palm trees. This is destroying the habitats of several endangered species, including orangutans, pygmy elephants, and Sumatran rhinos. Avoid products that use palm oil. Or check product labels to make sure any palm oil was produced in a rainforest-friendly way.

5.  Speak out! Write a letter to your senator or congressional representative, asking him or her to help protect endangered species.

To learn about endangered species or to find events for Endangered Species Day, visit endangeredspeciesday.org.

California condors

Members of one Indigenous tribe are bringing these rare birds back home to northern California. Learn more about California condors.

Asian elephants

Unfortunately, wild Asian elephants are very endangered. But many people are trying to save these elephants. Learn more about these massive, majestic mammals.


Ranger Rick article about Madagascar

Lemurs are one of the most endangered groups of mammals on the planet. People are working hard to save them, though. Meet a few of these special primates!


Snail Tale

Sadly, good looks have been bad luck for painted snails. People have collected so many of them for their beautiful shells that the snails are now endangered.


Ethiopian wolves are some of the most endangered animals in the world. Find out how these beautiful red wolves live—and what people are doing to keep them prowling Ethiopia’s mountains for many years to come.


Ridley Riddle Ranger Rick March 2017 1Kemp’s ridleys are the most endangered sea turtles in the world. People have been working hard to help them, and Kemp’s ridleys are making a slow comeback. Learn more about these amazing sea turtles.


Orangutans Oct 2018 RROrangutans are more endangered than any other great ape. Go ape over these 12 orangutan facts.


The good news is that many people are trying to protect mountain gorillas, and the number of them has been growing. The bad news is that they are still endangered. Only about 1,000 now live in the wild. Learn more.