Celebrating World Wildlife Day- 3 March 2024: Preserving Our Precious Ecosystems

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What do the orangutans of Borneo, the elephants of Sumatra, and the Black Rhino all have in common? Aside from all being cool animals that we watch on YouTube, the more sobering truth about these creatures is that they’re all critically endangered species. But on World Wildlife Day, the UN and its partners are planning to raise awareness of the gravity of this dire situation.

World Wildlife Day

An animal is only placed on the critically endangered species list if the International Union for Conservation of Nature believes the animal faces a very high risk for extinction – extinction as in going the way of the dinosaurs and dodo. So what does critically endangered look like? Current estimates put the number of living Black Rhinos at around 2,500 in the entire world. Russia’s Amur Leopard, found in the far eastern recesses of the country, is on the verge of extinction, with only about 40 left in the world. Unfortunately, this list goes on and on.

To raise awareness of endangered species and what we all can do, the UN is celebrating World Wildlife Day on March 3, marking the day the group signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.


December 20, 2013World Wildlife Day is established: Proposed by Thailand, the United Nations established the holiday to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
March 3, 2014World Wildlife Day is celebrated: The first World Wildlife Day is celebrated.
2015UN announces 2015 theme: The theme for World Wildlife Day 2015 was “It’s time to get serious about wildlife crime.”
2016UN announces 2016 theme: The theme for World Wildlife Day 2016 was “The future of wildlife is in our hands,” with the sub-theme “The future of elephants is in our hands.”
2017UN announced 2019 theme: The theme for World Wildlife Day 2019 was ‘Life Below Water: for People and Planet’.
2018UN announces 2018 theme: The theme for World Wildlife Day 2018 was “Big Cats: predators under threat.”
2019World Wildlife Day is established: Proposed by Thailand, the United Nations established the holiday to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.


  1. Share some amazing facts: One of the best ways to catch the attention of your friends and spread a message at the same time — especially with animals — is to share a cool fact. Maybe it’s on social media, or maybe it’s around the office water cooler. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to share a little-known fact about an endangered animal, and hopefully spark some curiosity about conservation.
  2. Throw a Planet Earth party: You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who vehemently says no to watching the BBC’s groundbreaking TV series Planet Earth. Now with two seasons readily available for online streaming, use World Wildlife Day as a time to watch this amazing series again, or introduce it to those who were unfortunate enough to miss it the first time around.
  3. Get involved: People all over the world are expected to come together on March 3 to discuss ways to discuss the biggest threats to the world’s wildlife, including habitat change, over-exploitation, and illegal tracking. Governments, natural parks leaders, citizens, and lawmakers will all be holding events to raise awareness, so find one near you, and get to work.
World Wildlife Day

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  1. Amur leopard: The rarest big cat in the world, these solitary animals are native to eastern Russia and northeastern China. Population: More than 84.
  2. Black Rhino: The smaller of the two African rhino species, black rhinos have a hooked upper lip, while white rhinos have a square lip. Population: 5,000 – 5,400.
  3. Bornean orangutan: Bornean orangutan populations have declined by more than 50% over the past 60 years, and their habitat has been reduced by at least 55% over the past 20 years. Population: About 104,700.
  4. Sumatran Tiger: Found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, they are the smallest surviving tiger subspecies. Population: Fewer than 400.
  5. Vaquita: The world’s most rare marine mammal, vaquita lives in the northern Gulf of California and was only discovered in 1958. Population: 30 individuals.
  6. Mountain Gorilla: Mountain gorillas live in forests at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet in the Congo Basin. Population: 880.
  7. Sumatran Elephant: One of the three recognized subspecies of the Asian elephant, their population has declined by at least 80% over the last three generations. Population: 2,400 – 2,800.

On this World Wildlife Day, let us renew our commitment to protecting and preserving our planet’s precious biodiversity. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a future where all species thrive in harmony with nature.

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