The World Wildlife Day

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World Wildlife Day is celebrated every year on 3rd March since 2013. The same day coincides with the day of the Convention on international Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that was signed in 1973. Theme for the year 2022 is “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration” . The theme was chosen as a way for drawing attention to the conservation status of some of the most critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora.

The day is aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1,12, 14 and 15 along with the wide-ranging commitments on poverty alleviation thereby ensuring sustainable use of resources and conserving life both on land and below water for halting biodiversity loss.

Theme for the Year 2022

About

  • The Earth at present is facing the urgent challenge in the form of biodiversity loss and it has been predicted that up to a million species could disappear in the decades to come in case unsustainable human activity like climate change and habitat degradation are not checked.
  • Around more than 8000 species of wild fauna and flora are endangered.
  • Nearly 30,000 species are known to be on the verge of getting extinct or vulnerable.
  • Also, there is an estimation that a million species have extinct.
  • India accounts for 7 - 8 % of all the recorded species which includes over 45,000 plant species and 91,000 animal ones.
  • Being one of the most diverse regions of the world, India is home to three biodiversity hotspots namely:
    • The Western Ghats
    • The Eastern Himalayas
    • The Indo-Burma hotspot
  • India also has seven natural World Heritage Sites, eleven Biosphere Reserves and forty-nine Ramsar sites.
  • There are several wildlife conservations parks and sanctuaries such as:
    • Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand
    • Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan
    • Gir National Park in Gujarat
    • Bannerghatta Biological Park in Karnataka
    • Hemis National Park in Ladakh
    • Periyar National Park in Kerala
    • The Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh

Factors Contributing Towards Species՚ Extinction

  • Habitat loss due to urbanization
  • Overexploitation
  • Moving species from their natural habitat
  • Global pollution
  • Climate change

Illegal Wildlife Trade

  • Unsustainable
  • Harms wild populations of animals and plants
  • Pushes endangered species towards extinction
  • Public health consequences like spreading of zoonotic pathogen such as Rabies, Brucellosis, Cysticercosis, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) , Plague, etc.

Collaboration of India and Global Conservation Efforts

  • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
  • CMS (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals)
  • CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity)
  • Ramsar Convention
  • World Heritage Convention
  • TRAFFIC (The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network)
  • GTF (Global Tiger Forum)

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