Wildlife Conservation Day 2020

Wildlife Conservation Day is celebrated on December 4th every year.

Wildlife conservation definition

“Wildlife conservation activities relate to the protection of plants and animal species, and their habitats. Conservation efforts are made with a goal to preserve nature and endangered species for the future generations”.

Wildlife Conservation
Animal welfare definition

“Animal welfare refers to the animal’s physical and mental state. It considers how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress“.

Important conservation agreements include the 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES), the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the 1964  International Union for Conservation of Nature  (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species which is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of global conservation status of biological species. 

A number of nongovernment organisations (NGO’s) have also been created to actively be involved with governments and promote wildlife conservation. These include the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) an international organisation working on issues regarding the conservation, research, and restoration of the environment. Wildlife Conservation Society, Born Free Foundation, WildEarth Guardians are just a few.

Over the past 40 years, the world has experienced a 60% population decline of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.  It has been estimated that the Earth has lost 50% of its shallow-water corals in the past 30 years.  The Amazon has been reduced by 20% in 50 years. The cause of this decline is due to human activities. These activities include habitat loss and degradation, and the enormous use of wildlife, such as overfishing, hunting, illegal wildlife trade, poaching for body parts, and pollution.

Human impacts have had a significant detrimental impact not only on the world’s wildlife but also on forests, oceans, rivers, and climate. Time is running out for action and there is an urgent need for everyone to collectively rethink and redefine how we can arrest this decline, and value and protect our environment and wildlife. 

There is an urgent need for action to prevent more loss of nature and wildlife. Many organisations are working with governments, NGOs, businesses, and communities to reduce carbon emissions, prevent habitat loss, and create policies to lessen the effects of climate change. The main focus is on protecting wildlife and conserving natural resources. Examples are; forests, oceans, freshwater, and grasslands, while at the same time finding new ways to feed our population without destroying the environment.  This is a global-scale issue. 

In order to survive a species requires food, water, security, shelter, space for a healthy life and reproduction. 

What can we do to help with wildlife conservation
  1. Leave only footprints on designated paths.
  2. Limit the amount of plastic usage. Over 8 million metric tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.
  3. Move towards a plant-based diet. Much of habitat destruction is from deforestation for agriculture – this is to reduce the amount of land for cattle farming, but also for growing grains and soy to feed the animals that humans consume.
  4. Be mindful of alternative medicines as many traditional medicines contain products from endangered and threatened species.
  5. Don’t buy souvenirs which are made from animal parts.
  6. Don’t ride animals on tours, e.g. elephants, donkeys, camels.
  7. Volunteer for local programs in your area to assist in caring for animals.
  8. Support wildlife conservation programs by making donations.
  9. Be informed and educate oneself about wildlife and conservation. 

We all can make a difference in some way to save planet Earth and our amazing wildlife. 

Lion cubs, Mala Mala
Pair of lion cubs, Mala Mala
Gentoo Penguin, Falkland Islands
Gentoo penguin, Falkland Islands
References

https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/living-planet-report-2018

https://www.globalteer.org/au/importance-of-wildlife-conservation/

https://www.iucn.org

https://www.nhes.org/wildlife-conservation

https://www.nikela.org/what-is-the-difference-between-wildlife-conservation-and-animal-welfare/

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