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Lion approaching camera
© Will Burrard-Lucas / Time + Tide

On March 3rd, 2018, World Wildlife Day will be celebrated around the world, and this year’s theme is “Big Cats: Predators under threat”.  

Led by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), World Wildlife Day celebrates and raises awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.

Leopard crossing dirt road
© Klaserie Sands

The official World Wildlife Day website had the following to say about the big day:

“Big cats are in the spotlight for this year and are among the most widely recognised and admired animals across the globe. However, today these charismatic predators are facing many and varied threats, which are mostly caused by human activities.

African lioness
©  Claire Birtwhistle / Rhino River Lodge

“Overall, their populations are declining at a disturbing rate due to loss of habitat and prey, conflicts with people, poaching and illegal trade. For example, the African lion populations has dropped by 40% in just 20 years. But a range of measures are underway to arrest this decline.

Leopard in tree
© Ben Coley / Bushwise

“In an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible, the expanded definition of big cats is being used, which includes not only lion, tiger, leopard and jaguar – the four largest wild cats that can roar – but also cheetah, snow leopard, puma, clouded leopard, etc.

Cheetah lying down with meal
© Will Burrard-Lucas / Time + Tide

“World Wildlife Day 2018 gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about their plight and to galvanise support for the many global and national actions that are underway to save these iconic species.

Lioness and two cubs
© Botswana Holidays

“Through World Wildlife Day big cats will generate the level of attention they all deserve to be sure they are with us for generations to come.”

Cheetah with sunset in background
© Will Burrard-Lucas / Time + Tide

Watch the official outreach video for World Wildlife Day 2018


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