Tasmanian Tiger, Passenger Pigeon, Sea Cow, Pyrenean Ibex; are you confused about why these names are mentioned here? Sadly, all the aforementioned animals are now extinct. Over the last 5 centuries, at least 900 species have become extinct. Owing to this, we celebrate National Wildlife Day on 4th September to spread awareness about wildlife species that need a voice. So, let’s pack our bags and hop on to this jungle safari to know more about why and how the day is celebrated!
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“Animals are a window to your soul and a doorway to your spiritual destiny. If you let them into your life and allow them to teach you, you will be better for it.” – Kim Shotola
Importance of Wildlife Conservation
It is important to note that National Wildlife Day is now celebrated twice a year, that is, 4th September and 22nd February. The extinct animals are not a part of the wildlife and are no longer heard or talked about. More than 99% of the 4 Billion species that ever existed on Earth have now gone extinct. This becomes a major issue to ponder upon as this may lead to disturbing our ecological balance. We may end up losing a bunch of important flora and fauna species that are now a vital part of our ecosystem.
One-quarter of the world’s mammals, 1 in 6 bird species and 40% of amphibians are threatened to extinction, making a total of 35,000 species. It is heartbreaking that our future generation will never get to enjoy or know about them. Thus, it is high time that we need effective measures to be implemented to conserve wildlife. By protecting and preserving the natural habitats of animals and plants we can ensure a better lively scenario for them. Therefore, we celebrate National Wildlife Day. This day emphasizes scrutinizing and reducing human involvement to keep the authenticity of wildlife intact.
Reasons to Conserve Wildlife
- Biodiversity: The end of a particular species affects the entire ecosystem as it disturbs the food chain and becomes a major threat to other species.
- Commercial Use Sufferings: Often animals are held captive for various commercial and industrial uses that eventually cause a decline in the number of species. For example- Elephants are used for tourism in South Asia, Orangutans in Indonesia for boxing shows, etc.
- Enhancing the Health of Ecosystem: Ensuring that the ecosystem is healthy and balanced. Animals help to keep the air and water clean.
“That’s what people do when they find a special place that wild and full of life, they trample it to death.”- Carl Hiaasen
History Behind National Wildlife Day
Colleen Paige, a Pet Lifestyle Expert and a renowned author initiated the idea of National Wildlife Day in 2005. Also known as an Animal Behaviorist and Philanthropist, Paige dedicated this day in honour of Wildlife Conservationist- Steve Irwin (Famed Crocodile Hunter). Predominantly, this initiative aims to spread awareness about the endangered species that need to be preserved globally. It aims to educate people, especially the youth regarding the adversities that animals are facing and how maintaining the authenticity of wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves has become the need of the hour.
Do you want to know how you can make a Career in Wildlife Management?
How to Celebrate National Wildlife Day?
There are many ways in which you can participate or even contribute towards the National Wildlife Day-
- Volunteer in fundraisers for rehabilitation
- Initiate your bit and by cleaning any trash that you might find on your way
- Educate the tiny todds and enlighten them about the importance of it
- Visit your nearby zoos to ensure that appropriate facilities are given to the animals for a healthy living
- Volunteer for camps under National Wildlife Foundation
“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”- Steve Irwin
Major Threats to Wildlife
As we are discussing the importance of celebrating National Wildlife Day, it is essential to understand what constitutes a threat to our wildlife. Post identifying and eradicating it, we can maintain a good ecosystem balance. Listed below are some of the major threats to wildlife-
- Natural Disturbances: Disturbances caused by forest fires, floods,earthquakes , diseases or droughts. Leading to vanishing the natural habitats of animals.
- Corridors and Flyways-The animals that move around the year to various places for migration such as Migrating Birds, Butterflies, Mountain Wolves etc. face difficulties in completing their natural course. They find it hard to find food, shelter and water because fences and buildings are being made.
- Bioaccumulation- Animals absorb all the chemicals and pollution from the food and surroundings which is then consumed by other animals who are a part of the food chain. This passes on the chemicals and it eventually wipes out the entire food web.
- Phenology: The temperature of the earth is increasing every year resulting in the meltdown of glaciers. This destroys the homes of the polar animals.
Want to know what NCERT says about Natural Vegetation and Wildlife?
National Wildlife Day: How you can Contribute
As we are now familiar with the history, importance and threat to wildlife, let us now quickly go through some points that elucidating how we can contribute to this day-
- Get information about the species that are on the verge of getting extinct
- Make sure that your home is not a threat to the wildlife
- Promote and propagate afforestation
- Never use toxic chemicals or pesticides
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
- Do not buy plastic products
Unique Facts about Wildlife
- Approximately 30,000 species per year, about three per hour are being driven to extinction
- The population of wildlife throughout the world decreased in size by approximately 52% between 1970 and 2010. The human population more than doubled in size during the period
- 4% of the mammals in the world are wild animals, 36% are human beings and 60% are farm animals
- An average of 96 elephants are killed for their ivory in Africa each day
- Every year poachers take more than 38 million animals from the wilds of Brazil
- Marine vertebrate population decreased 49% (approximately) between 1970 and 2012
- Approximately 85% of the fisheries around the world that are fished commercially are at their absolute maximum or already overfished
We hope that you are now familiar with the importance of National Wildlife Day. Why don’t you initiate your bit by pursuing a career in Wildlife Management? Our experts at Leverage Edu are here to guide you about this or any other field of your choice. Sign up today for a free 30-minutes session with us.