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World Wildlife Day 2018

World Wildlife Day commemorates the signature day of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Each year, the UN chooses a specific theme for World Wildlife Day. This year it will focus on big cats. Many organizations are already taking steps towards big cat conservation, as we previously mentioned in this article. However, more measures must be implemented to protect these amazing creatures.

Why Celebrate World Wildlife Day?

Over the past century, tiger populations dropped by 95%. In the last 20 years, African lions lost 40% of their population. The principal reason for such drastic declines has been human activity including habitat destruction and active hunting of big cat species. As such, World Wildlife Day 2018 will:

  1. Help raise awareness about big cats. There is mainly a lack of knowledge surrounding big cats around the world. This group of animals encompasses a variety of species from lions and tigers to leopards and cheetahs. They have a global presence in Asia, Africa, and across the Americas, and in each of the regions, their populations are in danger.
  2. Reach a wider audience through various platforms. World Wildlife Day 2018 allows conservation agencies to raise awareness through a variety of platforms: social media and other digital platforms for the general public, political forums and conferences to reach policy and decision-makers, and live events to target specific communities.
  3. Promote the call to take meaningful action in protecting big cats. Activities during World Wildlife Day 2018 are designed to take more aggressive actions in big cat protection and conservation. World Wildlife Day should influence governments, lawmakers, enforcement officers, customs officials, and park rangers to take actions.

NGOs Supporting Wildlife

Global NGOs are working to protect wildlife populations and reverse the effects of human actions that have a negative impact on their habitats.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

WCS works around the globe to conserve wildlife and their habitats. Their main focus is on ensuring a world with healthy lands and seas that can exist in harmony with human settlements. WCS is working simultaneously on the scientific, educational, conservation, and advocacy aspects of conservation. In their Wild Cats Projects, WCS looks to create a harmonious existence between humans and wild cats. Additionally, the NGO puts forth a strong effort to prevent illegal killing through smart patrols.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

For more than half a century, WWF has been taking action to conserve wildlife around the globe. The organization is currently present in over 100 countries and takes on both a local to a global approach to protect oceans, forests, freshwater bodies, wildlife, food production, and climate change impact. WWF is committed to TX2 — a movement that aims to double the global tiger population by 2022. WWF works to protect and monitor tigers and their habitat while also advocating for their conservation and working to eliminate the tiger trade.

African Wildlife Foundation

Established in 1961, AWF works across the African continent to conserve wildlife and their habitats while also focusing on community empowerment and economic development. AWF is leading leopard conservation with top researchers to create effective strategies for their protection. The organization’s Limpopo Leopard Conservation project addresses the lack of information and recommends actions regarding leopard populations.

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