Andover Animal Advocates
Did you know that there are 29 different endangered species in Andover? Well if you don't, you're not alone! Most people live a lot of their lives in this town without knowing this. Most of these species are endangered due to habitat destruction and population, both of which humans caused; often without even realizing that they are endangering plants, animals, and insects. We took these 29 species from the Massachusetts Government website, but there are many more that are rare that are also living in Andover that we should be aware of.
We are a Destination Imagination Team made up of 10th and 11th graders who want to raise awareness about this problem because we never learned about it in our schools. Through Destination Imagination, teams of up to 7 students can select an open ended challenge to explore for a school year. During the 2019-20 year, we selected the Service Learning Challenge called, "It's About Time," where we had to identify a community need and hold a community event. The need we identified was that our town, Andover, MA, was home to at least 29 endangered species, and that most people had no idea! There were turtles, salamanders, dragonflies, moths, freshwater mussels, plants and many other species that were identified by the Massachusetts government as either endangered, threatened or of special concern. We were horrified because we had never learned about this issue in our schools or from community events, so our goal is to raise awareness and help residents of Andover, and other towns, become Citizen Scientists who make a difference. We believe that all species deserve conservation because life has value, but in addition to this, we learned that all of these species have special places in the food chain and habitat web, so that if any are to go extinct, the results could cause a domino effect and other species will suffer the same fate.
We want you to look at this website because there are things you can do in your own backyard, things the citizens of Andover can do to help.
Study our pages of reptiles/amphibians, insects, mussels and plants to learn what species live in your yard or favorite AVIS or Conservation Land reservations
Learn about turtles in particular--report sightings of the 3 endangered species
Pay attention to the Conservation Commission projects
Look at our How You Can Help page to see what you can do