What is World Wildlife Day?
The fifth annual World Wildlife Day is coming up on March 3. On December 20th, 2013 the UN general assembly proclaimed World Wildlife Day. It’s a day to celebrate the world’s flora and fauna.
Each year has a different theme with the goal of raising awareness around certain issues. Wildlife trade is one of the most profitable illicit trades in the world. It’s estimated around $10 billion annually.
Wildlife is trafficked like drugs or weapons. It involves illegally killing, stealing, buying, and selling animal body parts like ivory, rhino horns, and pelts.
- 2014: First World Wildlife Day
- 2015: It’s time to get serious about wildlife crime
- 2016: The future of wildlife is in our hands", with a sub-theme "The future of elephants is in our hands
- 2017: Listen to the young voices
- 2018: Big cats - predators under threat
This year’s theme is all about big cats. Big cats are admired around the globe, but they’re facing increasing threats. Tiger populations have plummeted 95% over the last one hundred years, and Leopard populations are down 40% in just twenty years. If we continue at this pace, they will be extinct.
Big cats are experiencing habitat loss, poaching, and illegal trading. World Wildlife Day chose big cats to raise awareness around these issues on a global scale. Together we can create solutions.
Of course, you don’t have to wait around for World Wildlife Day, there are so many things you can do to get involved now.
How can I help?
- Share: One of the easiest ways to help out is to spread the message to friends and family. The World Wildlife Day website has a ton of ideas for tweets or facebook posts you can share.
- Sign a pledge: Join many others, and stand up to protect our wildlife.
“I will never buy any illegal wildlife products, as I know that demand drives poaching.
I will be a committed advocate in support of rangers and others on the front lines of conservation.
I will share my passion about stopping wildlife crime with my friends and family.
I will urge the U.S. government to continue championing efforts to stop wildlife crime at home and abroad.”
- Send a thank you note: Rangers work tirelessly to protect the animals for all of us. Over a thousand rangers have lost their lives in the past decade. That’s two rangers per week. Their work is vital to preservation efforts, let them know you care.
It’s amazing how a few encouraging words can lift the spirit. The rangers are heroes. Thank them for their efforts, small notes of appreciation can make a huge impact.
- Donate: When donating to the WWF, you can choose which endangered animal you’d like to support for a virtual adoption.
For Christmas this year, I picked an animal for each of my relatives and donated in their honor. In sticking with the theme this year, they have plenty of endangered cats you can support or adopt.
- Organize a documentary viewing: One of the best ways to make an impact at the local level is to get your community involved. With the help of the Conservation Summit, you can organize a documentary viewing in your town.
Sharing documentaries raises awareness to a new audience and can inspire action. It will also provide you the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals so you can work on larger projects in the future like cleanups, petitions, or fundraisers.
For more great ideas check out worldwildlifeday.org