The World Wildlife Day is observed every year on 3rd March to celebrate and raise awareness about the world’s wild fauna and flora. It is celebrated to mark the signing of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on this day in 1973.
It aims to create awareness and encourages people across the globe to protect endangered species. It also calls for taking up urgent steps to fight wildlife crime which has wide-ranging environmental, economic and social impacts.
The theme for this year is ‘Big Cats: Predators under Threat’. Big cats are among most widely recognized and admired animals across the globe. These predators are facing many and varied threats, mostly caused by human activities. Overall, their populations are declining at disturbing rate due to loss of habitat and prey, conflicts with people, poaching and illegal trade. The theme aims to raise awareness about plight of big cats and galvanize support for many global and national actions that underway to save these iconic species. It also expands definition of big cats being used, which includes not only lion, tiger, leopard and jaguar (4 largest wild cats that can roar) but also cheetah, snow leopard, puma, clouded leopard, etc.
The World Wildlife Day was designated by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 68th session on 20 December 2013. On this day in 1973, CITES was adopted.