CDD 2015: Breaking Out to Discuss Endangered and Threatened Animals

During Siena Heights University’s annual Common Dialogue Day, students are encouraged or in some cases, required, to attend a keynote speaker at the beginning of the day and attend several of the breakout sessions that occur throughout the day. There are three hours in which breakout sessions occur, around 10 or so happening each hour.

Breakout session topics varied greatly from climate change to female roles in superhero movies, but the overall theme of the entire day was justice and how people can best achieve it in a diverse context.

One particular breakout session discussed a topic one might not immediately think of when it comes to justice. A group of biology majors were tasked with providing information and resources to help endangered and threatened creatures in the North America area and how best we can achieve justice for animals. The majority of the species presented upon were victims of deforestation, hunting and overall habitat loss because of humans and their actions. They emphasized the importance of righting wrongs not only for particular animals but for entire ecosystems that rely on specific species to keep everything in balance. They described how a single type of animal going extinct widely affects the area they were once found in.

Some of the animals that were shown were the Florida panther, the grizzly bear, black-footed weasel, the kit fox and the gray wolf. The audience was given brief descriptions and statistics for each, describing the issues that have led to them being placed on threatened or endangered lists, and finally, letting the audience know what they could do to help these species and raise awareness.