Today is National Wildlife Day. A day we give voice to the voiceless and raise awareness for animal welfare.
While the world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, we are behind the loss of 83% of all wild mammals.
Researchers talk of ‘biological annihilation’ as studies reveal billions of wildlife populations have been lost in recent decades.
Wildlife is dying because of habitat destruction, the international wildlife trade, hunting, pollution and climate change.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that 27,000 species are at risk for extinction.
“Today – and every other day to come – is a chance to change the future. It’s a chance for all of us to step back, take a deep breath, and appreciate everything around us. Then do something to make sure we never lose it,” said Nicolette Peters of PAL.
Today is also a reminder of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime. The illegal trade in wildlife is estimated to be worth $20-billion (£15-billion) per year! Poaching and illegal harvesting, particularly in Africa, is shattering wildlife populations
The unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade poses a growing threat not only to wildlife but to all of us. It is becoming more and more common for diseases to spread from animals to man as the wild trade increases. For example, the Coved plague came from bats and pangolins.
PAL disrupts and dismantling networks involved in the illegal wildlife trade and works towards the enforcement of international wildlife laws and treaties. “The work we do is demanding, sometimes dangerous but always important,” said Peters. “The world’s wildlife is in trouble, we are trying to do something about it.”