Today, March 3, is World Wildlife Day, sponsored and founded by the United Nations General Assembly, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. This year, the theme for WWD is “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration.” It is estimated that over a million species around the world are threatened with extinction.
Continued loss of species, habitats and ecosystems also threatens all life on Earth, including us. People everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs, from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. Millions of people also rely on nature as the source of their livelihoods and economic opportunities.
We’ve spoken in the past about both African and Asian elephants being “keystone species,” which means that, in the wild, they are essential to the survival of other plants and animals in their ecosystems. In the wild, elephants pave the way through dense jungles, making paths for other species to travel. They knock over trees, giving plant life sunlight exposure and, as a result, they have better chances at growth. Through an elephant’s digestion, the dung that they create is very nutrient rich and provides food for insects, birds, and even some mammals.
Asian, African Forest, and African Savannah elephants are all decreasing in population. (Read more about African elephants at Elephant Voices.) There is much you can do to amplify the message of World Wildlife Day. Raise your voices and spread awareness to your community and post via social media. Call on institutions around the world about conservation of vulnerable species. If you post on social media, feel free to tag us and to use the hashtags #WWD2022, and #WorldWildlife Day. Thank you for your constant support and love for elephants in need.
Photo of Maia, thriving and enriching the sanctuary land