Wildlife Conservation Day Date in the current year: December 4, 2024

Wildlife Conservation Day Wildlife Conservation Day, sometimes referred to as World Wildlife Conservation Day, is celebrated every year on December 4. It was created to raise awareness of the numerous endangered species that are on the brink of extinction and highlight the importance of conservation efforts.

Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting wild species and their habitats from a variety of threats, including habitat degradation, fragmentation and destruction, deforestation, overexploitaiton (overharvesting), climate change, poaching, culling, and pollution. Most major threats to wildlife are a direct or indirect result of human activities.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), more than 28,000 species of the 105,000 species assessed by the IUCN were at risk for extinction as of 2019. The actual number, however, is estimated to be much higher. In the ICUN Red List, three categories of species are regarded as threatened: vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered.

Wildlife conservation efforts can be carried by governments (at the national and international levels) and non-governmental organizations. Some countries have laws designed to protect critically imperiled species; for example, the United States has the Endangered Species Act of 1973, signed into law by President Richard Nixon. In addition, there is a number of multilateral international treaties intended to protect endangered species, such as CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The rise of conservation NGOs occurred in the 1980s, as the public became dissatisfied with government conservation efforts. The best known NGOs involved with wildlife conservation include the African Wildlife Defense Force, BornFree, Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, The Nature Conservancy, WildEarth Guardians, the Wildlife Conservation Society, WildTeam, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and many more.

The celebration of Wildlife Conservation Day was initiated in 2012 by Hillary Clinton, the then United States Secretary of State. She wanted to stress the importance of joining efforts to address the global problem of wildlife trafficking, as well as to highlight the efforts of conservationists who are doing their best to fight poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

How can you observe Wildlife Conservation Day? There are many ways to join the celebration and contribute to the conservation cause. You can learn more about endangered species, the threats they face and the ways to help them, watch a documentary, listen to a podcast or read a book about wildlife conservation, donate to one of the numerous wildlife conservation organizations out there, attend a Wildlife Conservation Day event near you or organize an event of your own, and spread the word on social media using the hashtag #WildlifeConservationDay.

Wildlife Conservation Day should not be confused with World Wildlife Day. The latter is an annual United Nations observance that was established in 2013 to celebrate wild flora and fauna in all their beauty and diversity.

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