WILDLIFE CONSERVATION DAY
Each year on December 4th, Wildlife Conservation Day seeks to spread awareness about preserving and protecting the natural world and its inhabitants. Additionally, the observance strives to put an end to wildlife crime and supporting the Endangered Species Act.
Wildlife crime includes illegal poaching and smuggling of animals. Additionally, it includes transporting a specific animal product by criminal groups to make a profit. A few examples would be rhino horns and elephant tusks. Wildlife crime is detrimental to the ecosystem as it causes animals to become endangered or extinct.
Because of poaching, these six animals are at risk of becoming extinct:
- Sea turtles
Can you imagine living in a world where these fantastic animals no longer exist? If wildlife crime continues, it could very well happen. This is why Wildlife Conservation Day focuses on putting an end to wildlife crime.
The Endangered Species Act
Another focus of Wildlife Conservation Day is the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA was signed into law by President Nixon in 1973. The program helps to protect endangered plants and animals. The lead federal agencies for implementing the ESA include:
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
- U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The FWS maintains a list of all the endangered species, which include birds, insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, flowers, grasses, and trees. In late 2019 President Trump announced a major overhaul to the law that would reduce regulations. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to support the ESA.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WildlifeConservationDay
Many conservation groups, zoos, and wildlife organizations hold a variety of events. These events focus on ending wildlife crime and saving endangered species. They host educational seminars and exhibits. They also offer discounted or free passes to their facilities.
Sign the WWF pledge to stop wildlife crime
- Don’t buy illegal wildlife products, such as ivory
- Boycott unsustainable food products, such as palm oil
- Donate to a conservation group or wildlife organization
- Educate yourself on wildlife crime and endangered species
- Learn more about the Endangered Species Act
- Watch documentaries on wildlife issues and animal protection, including Blackfish, Forks Over Knives, and Racing Extinction.
Be sure to share this day on social media with #WildlifeConservationDay
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION DAY HISTORY
The call to wildlife conservation began in the 1900s. At the time, the bison nearly became extinct, and the passenger pigeon disappeared. These two events introduced the public to the concept of extinction.
Throughout the years, much was done to create awareness about wildlife conservation. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton created Wildlife Conservation Day.
At the time, Clinton had stated, “Wildlife cannot be manufactured. And once it’s gone, it cannot get replenished. Those who profit from it illegally are not just undermining our borders and our economies; they are truly stealing from the next generation.”