America marks National Wildlife Day on September 4. It’s an opportunity for everyone to step back, take a deep breath and think about all that surrounds us. It inspiring to consider preservation and conservation efforts that work to improve the natural world. There remains so much to learn. As Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” We couldn’t agree more. So let’s take a closer look at this special day.
When is National Wildlife Day 2020?
National Wildlife Day is on September 4, 2018.
National Wildlife Day timeline
National Wildlife Day was born
Colleen Paige created National Wildlife Day in honor of the late wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin — the famed "Crocodile Hunter."
- December 28, 1973
The Endangered Species Act passed
President Nixon signed a law protecting threatened species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation."
- September 27, 1962
A boost for the environmentalist movement
American biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson published "Silent Spring," documenting the adverse effects of pesticides on the environment.
- March 1, 1872
Grant makes Yellowstone official
President Ulysses S. Grant signed the law establishing Yellowstone as America's first national park — and the first national park in the world.
How to Observe National Wildlife Day
Take a hike!
Those of us fortunate enough to live close to the "wildness" that Thoreau wrote about with such startling clarity should use National Wildlife Day as a motivator to get out and about — and to explore the great outdoors.
Donate to conservation groups
Without the hard work of conservation groups, much of what we love about wildlife and natural habitats would likely be lost forever.
Clean this place up!
Many communities have organizations dedicated to picking up all the trash left behind. Find out when and where they'll be at work, and join them in cleaning up your town.
5 Pretty Wild Wildlife Facts
Our water supply never changes
The amount of water on Earth remains constant and is continually recycled over time.
There are more trees on the Earth than there are stars in the Milky Way
Scientists estimate that there are 3 trillion trees on Earth — way more trees, in fact, than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
'Blind as a bat' isn't blind at all
Contrary to popular myth and opinion, bats are not blind and sometimes use their eyesight to hunt, rather than using echolocation.
Mass extinctions happen more often than you'd think
Experts estimate that about 200 species of plants and animals become extinct every 24 hours — more than 1,000 times the natural rate of extinction.
Why National Wildlife Day is Important
We need a breather
Many of us are occasionally encouraged to "think outside the box." But how often do we acknowledge that "the box" is more than just a mental construct? It's physical too. Nature and wildlife remind us that it's time to get outside.
Wildlife is life-affirming
We admire wild creatures and the environments in which they live for a very simple reason: They remind us that each of us is tasked with finding the right balance between ourselves and the world we inhabit.
It inspires us to do good
National Wildlife Day reminds us of the alarming numbers of endangered animals and habitats, and it encourages us to advocate for preservation and conservation efforts.