World Wildlife Day is March 3rd and the theme for 2021 is “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”. This year’s theme focuses on the sustainability of ecosystems, particularly forests, and the livelihoods of indigenous people connected to forested areas. The United Nations established World Wildlife Day in 2013 to provide a platform to celebrate and draw attention to the world’s plants and animals. The celebration is now the most important global event related to wildlife. The goal of World Wildlife Day’s 2021 theme is to educate individuals surrounding the sustainability and conservation of forest communities and biodiversity around the world.
This year’s event will be held online, and it is encouraged to share the theme around social media to assist in raising awareness for the sustainability of forests and the ecosystems that rely on them. At home, individuals can get involved by educating themselves on the issues local forest ecosystems encounter, by watching the World Wildlife Day celebrations on March 3rd, or by using the hashtags #ForestPeoplePlanet, #WorldWildlifeDay, and #WWD2021.
Locally, there are some wonderful wildlife-related sanctuaries to visit or learn more about. Project Survival Cat Haven in Dunlap is a great place to start, they are offering guided tours by appointment and walk-ins from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Thursday through Monday each week. Their tours offer valuable information and a close-up look at some of the rarest large cat species in the world. Another important local sanctuary is Critter Creek Wildlife Station in Squaw Valley. This organization rescues and rehabilitates wild animals, especially focusing on Birds of Prey, Bobcats, Ring-Tailed Cats, Mountain Lions, and more. Critter Creek also provides the public with information about these animals on their website and through educational presentations. The most well-known local animal sanctuary is the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The zoo is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm for visitors to view and become informed about various wildlife species. All of these sanctuaries and other reliable information sources provide the public with valuable information about wildlife, the ecosystems that surround them, and the importance of biodiversity.