Today, the 3rd of March, is the day set out as an international celebration of wildlife. Appointed as such because it is the anniversary of the ratification of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, World Wildlife Day is used as an opportunity to celebrate what wildlife has brought to this amazing and varied planet.
World Wildlife Day: a platform for positive action
The marking of this day is also frequently used for the platform it provides in order to draw attention to the ever-changing challenges facing the natural world. Here in Kenya, the country’s ceremony in celebration of this year’s World Wildlife Day will be held in Amboseli, an area of Kenya that has, for much of the last two years, played host to devastating drought conditions.
In December of last year, the Kenya Wildlife Service released statistics on how many wildlife deaths were caused by the drought in eastern and northern Kenya. By the end of last year, some 512 wildebeest, 381 common zebra, 51 cape buffalo, 205 elephant and 49 critically endangered Grevy’s Zebra had been killed by the rain-scarce conditions.
It is expected that, alongside the elephant naming ceremony, the launching of a new tree-planting initiative and the announcement of this year’s World Wildlife Day theme – Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation – the ceremony in Amboseli will be used to highlight the dangers of a changing climate.