Biologists around the world agree that our planet is on the verge of the 6th Mass Extinction. Plant and animal species are disappearing at a rate of 100 to 1,000 times faster than they did just 200 years ago. The cause of this great die-off is us – the human race.
The news, however, isn’t all bad. So far, we’ve lost less than one percent of the species on our planet which means that with a lot of hard work and dedication we can still fix this thing.
Rocky Mountain Wild is hosting Colorado Endangered Species Week, May 14-20, 2017, with the national Endangered Species Day occurring on May 19. During this week, Rocky Mountain Wild will be organizing speakers, films, biologist lead hikes, service projects, and youth activities along the Front Range, with major events occurring in Boulder and Denver.
Not in the area? Find an Endangered Species Week event near you.
Confirmed Event Partners include:
- Endangered Species Coalition, media support and local pollinator plants
- Fire on the Mountain, Denver, restaurant fundraiser
- Back of Beyond Media, Film: Last Chance to Dance
- The Talbot-Heindl Experience, LLC, Film
Schedule of Events:
We are still working on the schedule, but we do have confirmation of the following events:
Thursday, May 18
Fire on the Mountain, 3801 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
A Rocky Mountain Wild fundraiser. Get some eats and support the cause! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Rocky Mountain Wild to help us protect the endangered species in our region.
Media Partners include:
For the Kids (& Kids at Heart):
- American pika coloring page
- Canada lynx coloring page
- Gray Wolf coloring page
- Gunnison sage-grouse coloring page
Suggested Actions to Take:
- Learn about endangered species in Colorado. The first step to protecting the endangered species in our region is to learn more about them. Check out CNN’s interactive overview of the extinction crisis.
- Visit a national wildlife refuge, park, or other public land. These places are awesome to visit and provide habitat to many native wildlife, including endangered species. Biologists have determined that the best way to protect endangered species is to protect where they live. You can volunteer at a wildlife refuge and advocate for their protection. Consider voicing your support for Gunnison sage-grouse habitat and asking the Bureau of Land Management to protect it.
- Native plants provide food and shelter for wildlife. This is especially important for pollinators. Consider planting native plants that pollinators love. Learn more about native plants that you can provide to pollinators this year.
- Watch for critters crossing the road. One of the biggest obstacles to wildlife living near development is roads. When you’re out, make sure to watch for wildlife crossing. And consider supporting the I-70 Wildlife Bridge project.
- Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to voice your support of the Endangered Species Act. Use the handy action center letter to the editor resource from Endangered Species Coalition to voice your support.
- Talk to your Congresspeople about protecting endangered species. One of the most effective ways you can help protect the endangered and threatened species in your region is to meet in-person with congressional staff. Check out the Endangered Species Coalition How to Advocate Toolbox and consider scheduling a meeting with your congressperson.
Suggested Film List:
|Division Street, Eric Bendick. Roads are the largest human artifact on the planet; they have fragmented wild landscapes and the wildlife that lives within them, ushered in the “age of urban sprawl,” and challenged our sense of community. As the transportation crisis grows, a new generation of ecologists, engineers, planners, and citizens are working to transform the future of the American road.|
|Forever Wild, First Light Films. Forever Wild celebrates America’s commitment to wilderness and preservation. Shot in high definition, the film captures the glory of undeveloped, wild places through visually stunning images. It also profiles America’s modern wilderness heroes – individuals who have volunteered countless hours and immeasurable energy to ensure that these wild places remain forever wild.|
|Last Call, Enrico Cerasuolo and Massimo Arvat. Last Call provides a high-level examination of one of the most fundamental environmental questions of our time – are there limits to growth? Supported by archival footage and other materials, Last Call provides provocative insights into the fundamental reasons behind the ongoing global ecological and economic crises, and what it will take to ensure a more hopeful future.|
|Last Chance to Dance, Back of Beyond Media. The Gunnison sage-grouse is a threatened species in the American West. Featuring an artist collaboration of Denver artists as well as international guests, this short, quirky piece about the sage-grouse and the need for conservation of its habitat highlights the love and commitment of the arts community to tell a story that will make you laugh, inspire, inform, dream.|
|Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators, Green Fire Productions. For centuries, humans have feared wolves, cougars and other top predators, driving them to the edge of extinction in our wildlands and prairies. But in recent years, scientists are learning that top predators play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, a critical reminder of the importance of preserving biodiversity.|
|Love Thy Earth, Sylvie Rokab. Traversing the globe, the film celebrates the dazzling natural spectacles of our planet, while also revealing how a deeper connection with nature can transform each of us and inspire us to restore endangered ecosystems, as well as the human family.|
|Mother: Caring for 7 Billion, Christophe Fauchere and Joyce Johnson. Since the 1960’s world population has nearly doubled and now tops 7 billion. Population growth, though little discussed, is putting an unprecedented burden on the planet’s life systems. Mother: Caring for 7 Billion brings to light the connection between overpopulation and our most pressing environmental and humanitarian problems, as well as the solutions.|
|Seasons, Music Box Films. With its exceptional footage of animals in the wild, Seasons is the awe-inspiring and thought-provoking tale of the long and tumultuous shared history that inextricably binds humankind with the natural world.|
|The Great Squeeze: Surviving the Human Project, Christophe Fauchere. Life on planet Earth is at a crossroads, with multiple environmental crises bearing down upon us simultaneously: climate change, resource depletion, oil supply decline, ocean pollution, overpopulation, species extinction, and more. The Great Squeeze inventories and connects all of them, showing how short-sighted human behavior and decisions have resulted in a situation that threatens our lives and planet.|
Suggested Reading List:
- Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth, Alan Weisman. For this long awaited follow-up book, Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth – and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing?
- Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money, and the Future of Life on Earth, Anthony Barnofsky. Paleobiologist Barnofsky weaves together evidence from the deep past and the present to alert us to the looming Sixth Mass Extinction and to offer a practical, hopeful plan for avoiding it.
- Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, E.O. Wilson. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature.
- Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine. Join bestselling author Douglas Adams and zooligist Mark Carwardine as they take off around the world in search of exotic endangered creatures. Hilarious and poignant – as only Douglas Adams can be – Last Chance to See is an entertaining and arresting odyssey through the Earth’s magnificent wildlife galaxy.
- Listed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Act, Joe Roman. The first listed species to make headlines after the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 was the snail darter, a three-inch fish that stood in the way of a massive dam on the Little Tennessee River. When the Supreme Court sided with the darter, Congress changed the rules. The dam was built, the river stopped flowing, and the snail darter went extinct on the Little Tennessee, though it survived in other waterways. A young Al Gore voted for the dam; freshman congressman Newt Gingrich voted for the fish.
- Man Swarm, Dave Foreman. Overpopulation is real. Now at over seven billion and counting, renowned visionary conservationist and global thinker, Dave Foreman, helps us understand that only by stabilizing and reducing human population can we stop wrecking our home – Earth.
- Rare: Portraits on America’s Endangered Species, Joel Sartore. When a few of these photographs first appeared in the National Geographic magazine January 2009 issue, they were hailed as an arresting reminder of the hundreds of species teetering on the brink of final extinction—more than 1,200 animals and plants in all. Now, in Rare, Joel Sartore and National Geographic present 80 iconic images, representing a lifelong commitment to the natural world and a three-year investigation into the Endangered Species Act and the creatures it exists to protect.
- Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution, Caroline Fraser. If environmental destruction continues at its current rate, a third of all plants and animals could disappear by 2050-along with earth’s life-support ecosystems, which provide food, water, medicine, and natural defenses against climate change. Now Caroline Fraser offers the first definitive account of a visionary crusade to confront this crisis: rewilding. Breathtaking in scope and ambition, rewilding aims to save species by restoring habitats, reviving migration corridors, and brokering peace between people and predators.
- The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals, Gerardo Ceballos, Anne Ehrlich, and Paul Ehrlich. Nature is being annihilated, not only because of the human population explosion, but also as a result of massive commercial endeavors and public apathy. Despite the well-intentioned work of conservation organizations and governments, the authors warn us that not enough is being done and time is short for the most vulnerable of the world’s wild birds and mammals.
- The Future of Life, E.O. Wilson. In this, his most personal and timely book to date, he assesses the precarious state of our environment, examining the mass extinctions occurring in our time and the natural treasures we are about to lose forever. Yet, rather than eschewing doomsday prophesies, he spells out a specific plan to save our world while there is still time. His vision is a hopeful one, as economically sound as it is environmentally necessary. Eloquent, practical and wise, this book should be read and studied by anyone concerned with the fate of the natural world.
- The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be, J.B. MacKinnon. In three beautifully drawn parts, MacKinnon revisits a globe exuberant with life, where lions roam North American and 20 times more whales swim in the sea. He traces how humans destroyed that reality, out of rapaciousness, yes, but also through a great forgetting.
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. The time around, the cataclysm is us.
- Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators, William Stolzenburg. For years, predators like snow leopards and white-tipped sharks have been disappearing from the top of the food chain, largely as a result of human action. Science journalist Will Stolzenburg reveals why and how their absence upsets the delicate balance of the world’s environment.