Resilience through Innovation & Sustainability
World Wildlife Day is an annual event celebrated on March 3rd to raise awareness about the world’s wild animals and plants, and the threats they face. The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 to celebrate the signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on March 3, 1973.
The theme for World Wildlife Day changes every year, but it is always centered around the importance of conserving and protecting the world’s wildlife. This year the theme is titled “Partnerships for wild life conservation”. The day is celebrated with events, activities, and campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the importance of wildlife and the challenges they face, including habitat loss, over-exploitation, climate change, and illegal wildlife trade.
World Wildlife Day provides an opportunity for people around the world to come together and take action to protect the world’s wildlife. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of conserving and protecting the world’s wildlife, and to inspire people to take action to protect these species and their habitats.
Some of the 2023 statistics about wildlife and their conservation are the following:
- Biodiversity loss: According to the United Nations, over a million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss, over-exploitation, pollution, and climate change.
- Endangered species: There are over 27,000 species of animals and plants listed as endangered or threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
- Habitat loss: Habitat loss is the leading cause of biodiversity loss, with over 170 million hectares of forests destroyed every year.
- Illegal wildlife trade: The illegal wildlife trade is a multi-billion dollar industry and one of the biggest threats to wildlife, with species such as elephants, rhinos, whales and tigers being hunted for their ivory, horn, blubber and skins.
- Marine wildlife: The world’s oceans are home to over 230,000 species of animals, but overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change are putting these species at risk.
- These statistics highlight the urgent need to protect and conserve the world’s wildlife and their habitats. The conservation of wildlife is not only important for the survival of these species, but also for the health of our planet and the well-being of future generations.
Wildlife and climate change
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to wildlife and their habitats, and its impacts are being felt across the globe. Here are some ways in which climate change is affecting wildlife:
- Habitat loss: Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns are causing shifts in the distribution of wildlife and their habitats. This can lead to habitat loss and degradation, making it harder for animals to find food, shelter, and breeding sites.
- Migration patterns: Climate change is causing changes in the timing and distribution of migratory species, making it harder for them to find food and breeding sites. This can lead to declines in populations and increased competition for resources.
- Ocean acidification: Rising carbon dioxide levels are causing the oceans to become more acidic, making it harder for marine species such as corals, shellfish, and some species of fish to survive.
- Extreme weather events: Climate change is leading to an increase in extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts, and heatwaves, which can have devastating impacts on wildlife and their habitats.
- Disease outbreaks: Climate change is also leading to changes in the distribution and frequency of disease outbreaks, which can have serious impacts on wildlife populations.
Climate change is having a major impact on wildlife and their habitats, and urgent action is needed to address this issue and reduce its impacts. This can include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting and restoring wildlife habitats, and working to increase the resilience of wildlife and their habitats to the impacts of climate change.
TAKE ACTION – MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
- Pick up trash
- Avoid harmful chemicals
- Become a citizen scientist
- Learn about endangered species
- Adopt an animal
- Do your part
- Understand human impact