Saturday, 3 March 2018

Protecting the Big Cats on World Wildlife Day 2018 and Beyond

March 3rd is #WorldWildlifeDay. It has been celebrated since 2013. The theme for 2018 is Protecting the Big Cats - the felid of the biological family felidae. There are 36 varieties of wild cats in the world. These apex predators of the land are most at risk wherever they occur and mankind preys on them leaving them endangered and on the verge of extinction.

We have lost many species - many to reckless hunting and poaching and the trend continues.
We loose #BigCats and #Wildlife to natural disasters as seen during the floods of Assam over the last few years.
We loose them to habitat destruction with increasing man-animal man-felid conflicts.
But most of all we loose them to poachers.

India is home to 8 types of felid:
  1. The Great India Lion;
  2. Our national animal the Royal Bengal Tiger; 
  3. The Snow Leopard;
  4. The Indian Leopard;
  5. The Jaguar;
  6. The Black Panther;
  7. The White Tiger
  8. The Clouded Leopard

Rohan Chakravarthy has done wonderful illustration of all of India's wildcat treasures.

On this #WWD18 if we can #DoOneThing it's being aware of the wildlife and biodiversity of our locality, city/town/village, district, state and nation and do our bit to work for it's conservation. They share our planet - and have as much right to it as us. There are many great institutions working round the clock to save our wildlife but it's each of our responsibility. Because they are all part of a fragile balanced eco-system that sustains the health of the planet. When this goes out of balance life as we know it will become a distant dream. Perhaps the only species the planet will thrive without is the human race!
So as long as we take up more than our rightful place in the sun let's at least work to make it safer for our wild planet-mates :)

Green Humour's Wildlife Map of India is a great place to build awareness of what's at stake.

Recently I was blessed to witness an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle hatchling swim off into the Bay of Bengal from my neighbourhood beach after years of seeing only dead turtles during the December-April nesting season. There is no greater joy that seeing wildlife survive!

Be it big cats or birds, sea turtles or chipmunks we share space with miracles and we need to work to ensure their continued survival.

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