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It's World Wildlife Day

Thursday, 3rd March 2016

"On this World Wildlife Day," explains Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-moon, "I call on all citizens, businesses and governments to play their part in protecting the world’s wild animals and plants. The actions taken by each of us will determine the fate of the world’s wildlife. The future of wildlife is in our hands!" If that's not a wake-up call to the inhabitants of the world I'm not sure what is. What is World Wildlife Day?

The UN website states that "World Wildlife Day - 3 March - is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts." (source: http://www.un.org/en/events/wildlifeday/index.shtml). 
 

Would that we could all celebrate nature's beauty every single day of the year, but we can't. Or at least, we don't seem yet to be able to. I say "we" when I really mean mankind. I'm fortunate to communicate with a thriving community of people who really care about nature; people who take time out to show nature that they care.  

Regrettably, however, there are many who "couldn't really care less about nature" and some who might feel happier if wildlife was somewhere else and preferably out of sight. The illegal wildlife trade will not be happy until the planet is stripped bare of any species with a market value: the shark; the elephant; gorillas; rhinos and tigers. However, are we in the west less guilty for stripping bare and purifying our landscape, decimating hedgerows, or, at the very least, cutting them too early in the year, and driving wildlife out of the countryside? 
 

The good news is that those of us who feed birds on a regular basis  - of which there are many - support conservation on the front line as we share our greenspace with them and our reward is obvious.

"Wildlife has an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of sustainable development and human well-being." says the UN. "For these reasons, all member States, the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, non-governmental organizations and individuals, are invited to observe and to get involved in this global celebration of wildlife. Local communities can play a positive role in helping to curb illegal wildlife trade." 

I love the sound of that: a global celebration of wildlife. And I couldn't agree more that "The future of wildlife is in our hands". I really do hope that the Day re-focuses the mind for all of us so that we can re-double our efforts as life is too short for such a large and complex demographic to change its shape. Together we can do what we do best...feed the birds and stand up for nature before it's too late. 

Before I leave you, what does "too late" really mean?

Does it mean too late for wildlife?

In some ways, I think the tipping point has already tipped so far that it's already too late for many species. I think this is really about focusing our efforts to stop it from being too late for mankind as - whether the lion's share of the world's inhabitants like it or not - we're all inextricably linked and the future of man without wild fauna and flora is impossible. 

Make the most of World Wildlife Day in your garden - discover more and take part in the World Wildlife Day Haith's Bird Feeding Event. (Please come back to this page on March 3).  

Key
For more inofrmation on each bird please click 'More Info' and this will take you to our bird ID guide.
  Simon King 

UN Notes:

The theme “The future of wildlife is in our hands” reinforces the inextricable link between wildlife, people and sustainable development. It is the responsibility of each generation to safeguard wildlife for the following generation. It also imparts the pressing need for national action to ensure the survival in the wild of both charismatic and lesser known species.

The secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in collaboration with other relevant United Nations organizations, facilitates the implementation of World Wildlife Day.

With 182 Member States, CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora.

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