March 3 is observed globally as World Wildlife Day (WWD).  Each year’s event has a different theme and this year’s focus is closely tied to Catty Shack Ranch’s mission, purpose and heart.  This is the year of “Big Cats: Predators under Threat.”

World Wildlife Day is a day to celebrate the varied forms of flora and fauna found all over the world and to raise awareness of the benefits that protection and conservation of all forms of life provide to mankind.

Typically the definition and interpretation of “big cats” includes the species in the genus Panthera – tigers, lions, jaguars and leopards.  For WWD, this definition has been expanded to include cheetahs, snow leopards, pumas and clouded leopards.  This enlarged collection of cats reaches more of the global (human) population.

We all can name some of the threats to existence faced by these big cats (and many other species):

– Loss of habitat and loss of prey

– Illegal trade and poaching

– Human/wildlife conflict

– Climate change

Behind all these serious threats lie human activities.  Just as humans are causing this harm, humans are the only ones who can resolve the growing crises and alter our behaviors to protect, conserve and replenish these majestic species.

Consider these somber facts:

– The tiger population has dropped 95% in just over 100 years.

– The lion population has plummeted 40% in only 20 years.

– Despite international commercial trade having been prohibited since 1987, almost every body part of the tiger still has a market.

We all can do our part to change the dire future these animals face – become aware, examine and change our habits, educate one another about the values (and right to life) these animals have.  Contribute (monetarily and/or through work efforts) to organizations locally, nationally and globally whose mission is to raise awareness of the big cats’ plight.  This gives these organizations more resources and more clout to fight for these animals and to avert the growing crises they face.

It will be a very sad and tragic day if the only big cats in the world exist in captivity or as mounted specimens in museums.  Together we can and must make sure this does not happen.

Take a photo with the 2018 Action Card and share on social media to show your support! #WorldWildlifeDay #PredatorsUnderThreat #WWD2018 #DoOneThingToday #iProtectBigCats