Wild animals take to Twitter to save their skins

Proposed cuts to the federal budget have included some head-scratching line items, but one that’s not getting nearly enough attention threatens funding for the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the animals it protects. Earthjustice has kicked off a social media campaign to bring awareness to this dire environmental situation, and the campaign itself is pretty brilliant.

Follow a gray wolf (@WolfSOS), a salmon (@SalmonSOS), and a polar bear (@PolarBearSOS) on Twitter and hear them plea their case for continued protection, amid normal everyday tweets such as “Out to get breakfast. Back in 2 to 3 days.” from the polar bear.

The campaign page has all the animal tweets in one place for easy viewing, and the progress bar shows how close the letter writing campaign is to its goal of 37,000.

You can find full details of the cause behind the campaign in the press release put out by Earthjustice:

Among the many contentious issues surrounding the passage of Congress’ current budget bill are a series of anti-wildlife proposals that would strip Endangered Species protections for the gray wolf, expand offshore oil drilling in the Arctic that could harm the polar bear habitat, and take away water intended to restore rapidly declining salmon runs. Sadly, all three of these species are already struggling to survive: Polar bears live in some of the harshest conditions on Earth and are now being hit by climate change; salmon must fight their way past dams and irrigation pumps just as more and more of their water is siphoned off for human use; and wolves were slaughtered to the brink of extinction until recovery efforts in the 1990s pulled them back from the edge. Species like these three are amazing, iconic species that represent the very best of America’s great untamed wilderness. To lose these animals is to lose an essential part of America’s greatness.

The call to action of the campaign is for citizens to contact their Senate leaders, asking them “to support science-based wolf and salmon management and the full recovery of both species; and to oppose any legislation that would weaken protections for any American wild animal and the Endangered Species Act.”

The letter to your Senate leaders stays in character (“We’ve got good friends who are wolves, at least passing acquaintance with schools of salmon and deep admiration for polar bears known to swim for days on end to catch up with melting polar ice floes.”) but is, of course, underlined by its serious message.

Take a minute to send the letter to your own Senate leaders and help the wolf, salmon, and polar bear return to life in the wild before they get carpal tunnel syndrome from Tweeting.