Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave. On average, there are 50,000 spiders per acre in green areas. Seahorses are monogamous and mate for life. Anteaters eat 35,000 ants a day. Honeybees have tiny hairs on their eyes to help them collect pollen. Butterflies taste with their feet. An adult panda can spend up to 12 hours a day eating, and in order to fulfill their dietary needs, they need to eat at least 28 pounds of bamboo. All polar bears are left-handed, or rather, left-pawed. Baby giraffes can stand within half an hour of birth. Rats laugh when they are tickled and during playtime. When anacondas mate, several competing males can form a ball around a female in a ritual that can last up to a month. Dolphins sleep with one half of the brain at a time, and with one eye closed. Alligators have been around for 150 million years. Named for its miraculous abilities, the Amazon’s ‘Jesus Christ lizard’ can run over water.
On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designates the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar.
The date is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival. Previously, 3 March had been designated as World Wildlife Day in a resolution made at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16) held in Bangkok from 3 to 14 March 2013. The CITES resolution was sponsored by the Kingdom of Thailand, the Host of CITES CoP16, which transmitted the outcomes of CITES CoP16 to the UN General Assembly.
The world’s wildlife, whether charismatic or lesser known, is facing many challenges. The biggest threats to wildlife are habitat loss as well as overgrazing, farming and development. Poaching and trafficking in wildlife driven by transnational organized crime groups pose the most immediate threat to many iconic species. Elephants, pangolins, rhinoceros, sharks, tigers and precious tree species are among the most critically poached and trafficked species across the world.
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. 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.
Source: un.org | wildlifeday.org