1. Learn about endangered species in your area. Be wildlife champions for the endangered and threatened species in your state. Use these resources to help you:
2. Suggest outdoor field trips where students can connect to the natural world, such as, a wildlife refuge, park, or other open space. Scientist tell us the best way to protect endangered species is to protect where they live. Let your students know about volunteer opportunities at local nature centers, parks, and wildlife refuges.
3. Make your school wildlife friendly. Place decals on windows to reduce the number of bird collisions. Use native plant species - they will attract and sustain native animal species. For more tips, visit the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
4. Create a certified Schoolyard Habitat®. Creating an outdoor learning environment allows first hand look at local plant and animal species. Schoolyard Habitats also provide food, water, cover and a place for species to raise their offspring.
5. Minimize use of pesticides and herbicides. Most schools now utilize an Integrated Pest Management System or IPM. Check with your facilities department on how the school grounds are treated. This also might be the opportunity for students to research and request an all natural solution to toxics on the school grounds. For more information, check out Beyond Pesticides.
6. Recycle and buy sustainable products. Buy recycled paper, sustainable products like bamboo and Forest Stewardship Council wood products to protect forest species. Remember to copy double sided or better yet use technology! Never buy products using wood from rainforests. Recycle your cell phones, because a mineral used in cell phones and other electronics is mined in gorilla habitat. Think twice about your lunch - minimize your use of palm oil because forests where tigers live are being cut down to plant palm plantations.
7. On your way to school or back home from school? SLOW DOWN and keep an eye out for wildlife!! Many animals live in developed areas and this means they must navigate a landscape full of human hazards. One of the biggest obstacles to wildlife living in developed areas is roads. Roads divide habitat and present a constant hazard to any animal attempting to cross from one side to the other.
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