World Wildlife Day is celebrated each year on March 3. This day marks a time when people learn more about wildlife and plants. This week, The Mini Page learns why World Wildlife Day is so important.
What is it?
In December 2013, the U.N., or United Nations, assigned March 3 of every year as World Wildlife Day, a celebration that raises awareness of plants and wild animals throughout the world.
According to World Wildlife Day officials, during the past 10 years, this day “has become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.”
The focus is to spark interest on the conservation efforts of some of the most threatened and endangered wildlife and plant species throughout the planet.
There are more than 8,400 critically, or seriously, endangered plants and animals in the world. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, 38,500 species are under threat and 16,300 are thought to be endangered.
The red panda has been on the IUCN endangered list since 2008. Like many species of plants and animals on the endangered or critically endangered lists, red pandas face habitat issues brought on by deforestation, or land clearing by humans. Red pandas are losing their homes.
Red pandas are also threatened by poaching, or illegal hunting. In an attempt to save the species, breeding programs have been started in zoos throughout the world.
According to Earth.org, 41% of known endangered species are amphibians, 37% are sharks and rays, 33% are corals, 26% are mammals and 14% are birds.
Nearly 70% of the world’s assessed plants are under threat, and about a third of tree species around the world are facing extinction, including common trees like oaks and maples.