National Wildlife Day 2017 - The Animals Need You!

National Wildlife Day 2017 - The Animals Need You!

Posted by Connor Whelan on Sep 4, 2017

National Wildlife Day was established in memory of Steve Irwin. He was the Australian conservationist, television personality, and wildlife expert who presented the television series The Crocodile Hunter. He won worldwide acclaim from the show, and used the platform to promote and highlight many of the conservation issues he was passionate about. At the time of his death in 2006 he was one of the most recognisable conservationists and animal lovers in the world. He was killed by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary. He was just 44 years old.

National Wildlife Day takes place each year on the same date he died - 4 September. Despite the name, it is becoming an increasingly global event, with organisations and individuals getting involved every year.

It has two stated aims, both of which were close to the beliefs and values that Steve Irwin promoted:

  • To raise awareness of animals that are endangered and at risk from extinction
  • To promote and highlight the work of zoos and other well-run animal sanctuaries

The latter aim is about highlighting the important role zoos and animal sanctuaries play in conservation efforts around the world. They do this by offering sanctuary to animals at risk of death and harm, and many are involved in crucial breeding programs that help to increase the numbers of some of the world’s most endangered animals.


They also play a crucial role in education, particularly of children. Children from all over the world attend their local zoos to get a better understanding of animals and the natural world in general. They also learn what action is needed to protect them.

Of course, in most cases action is needed. This includes scientific and conservation action to learn more about endangered animals, and to develop initiatives that will help to protect them. Action is also required by governments and law enforcement agencies to firstly put in place laws to protect animals from poaching and the disgusting trade in animal parts, and, secondly, to enforce the law when it is broken.

Action is also needed on an individual level so that more people become aware of and interested in the future of at risk animals. When people get involved in active conservation campaigns, the lives of endangered animals improve.


How People Can Get Involved

Many different organisations support and partner with National Wildlife Day, but it is mainly a grassroots initiative. People get involved by promoting their local zoo, or simply going to the zoo to show their support. They give out flyers highlighting endangered animals, and run, or participate in educational events.

Many take it a stage further by getting involved in conservation work themselves. This includes volunteering at animal shelters and sanctuaries. It also includes going on an adventure tour or conservation holiday to help endangered animals in other parts of the world.

You can get involved in any activities like these in order to take part in National Wildlife Day. Some animals remain on the critically endangered list, and for them, no time can be wasted. Taking part in National Wildlife Day is one way to make a genuine and positive impact.

Want to learn more about endangered species? Check out the infographic below to find out exactly why the animals need our help. Don’t forget to visit our project pages to see how you can get involved in the protection of wildlife species across the globe!

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