Today it’s World WildLife Day! Join us in celebrating the beauty and diversity of the planet’s amazing wildlife.
#WorldWildLifeDay: celebrating breathtaking diversity and raising awareness
The UN World Wildlife Day was introduced in 1950 to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
World Wildlife Day 2018 is celebrated under the theme “Big cats: predators under threat”
On 20 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.
World Wildlife Day is celebrated in 2018 under the theme “Big cats: predators under threat"
Big cats are among the most widely recognised and admired animals across the globe. However, today these charismatic predators are facing many and varied threats, which are mostly caused by human activities. Overall, their populations are declining at a disturbing rate due to loss of habitat and prey, conflicts with people, poaching and illegal trade.
For example, tiger populations plummeted by 95% over the past 100 years and African lion populations dropped by 40% in just 20 years.
But a range of measures are underway to arrest this decline.In an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible, the expanded definition of big cats is being used, which includes not only lion, tiger, leopard and jaguar — the 4 largest wild cats that can roar – but also cheetah, snow leopard, puma, clouded leopard, etc.
Big cat species are found in Africa, Asia, and North, Central and South America, representing a virtually global distribution, and representations of big cats, such as for car logos, by sporting clubs and the fashion industry, are used globally.
Over the past century we have been losing big cats, the planet’s most majestic predators, at an alarming rate.
World Wildlife Day 2018 gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about their plight and to galvanise support for the many global and national actions that are underway to save these iconic species. Through World Wildlife Day big cats will generate the level of attention they all deserve to be sure they are with us for generations to come.
(Below: a selection of photographs of Tanzanian wildlife, by JeroenInc)
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