Sometimes there seem to be almost as many Funds and Institutions and Societies out to save our endangered species as there are threatened animals themselves. In return for your contribution they offer something beyond a tax deduction, something solid that you can wear, hold, display or sip from. And if their efforts fail to save the oryx or black-footed ferret, at the very least you and your children will know what they looked like.
The Whale Protection Fund offers reasonably priced gift items to raise money for the preservation of these grand mammals. A nine-inch stoneware whale sculpture, hand-cast and glazed, costs $22 (plus $1.35 postage), and there are "Gentle Giant" T shirts depicting the humpback variety in natural or sky blue cotton. Children's sizes cost $4.95, the adults' $5.95 (postage: $.75 each). Order from The Whale Protection Fund, c/o Center for Environmental Education, 2100 M St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037.
The National Audubon Society, in its efforts to save anything sporting a wing and a song, is offering for the third year a limited-edition Bavarian crystal plate engraved with an endangered American bird. This year's peregrine falcon is one of a projected series of eight and costs $195 (plus $3 postage) from Audubon Crystal Ltd., 180 Hills Point Rd., Westport, Conn. 06880. Thirty dollars of that price buys a sustaining membership and a subscription to Audubon magazine.
The Friends of the Earth Collection of American Wildlife offers a similar membership/gift opportunity of Swedish earthenware renderings of the banded seal, black-footed ferret and other beasts at $29.50 each. Order from Friends of the Earth Collection, P.O. Box 5093, Westport, Conn. 06880.
Billing its contribution to conservation as the "gift of all outdoors," another environmental group has etched its rare and endangered species in sets of six glasses, $13.80 the set, postage included. Order from the National Wildlife Federation, 1412 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Perhaps the most prestigious conservation gift currently available is a bowl offered in cooperation with The World Wildlife Fund. Fashioned from solid silver, the bowl is decorated with five plaques depicting endangered animals—the cheetah, Indian rhinoceros, Arabian oryx, polar bear and tiger—all modeled by the chief craftsman of the British Royal Mint. Each silver bowl costs $998 and can be ordered from The Tryon Gallery Ltd., 41/42 Dover St., London, W1X 3RB; checks payable to The Wildlife Silver Bowl.
Had there been an American Museum of Natural History 140 million years ago, the passing of the Brontosaurus might have been mourned with a commemorative cave painting. As things stand, the 70-foot-long, 30-ton herbivorous dinosaur is available now, in a swirl of Swedish crystal. From an edition of 10,000 pieces, the seven-inch-long sculpture celebrating Bronty costs $77.50 and is available on order from Natural History Sculptures, Dept. G-250, Box 5123, Des Moines, Iowa 50340.
Varied and, for the most part, reasonably priced, any of these gifts enable one to do something for endangered wildlife.