Taking stock of endangered species on World Wildlife DayS. Himmelstein | March 03, 2023
To commemorate the March 3, 1973, adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the UN General Assembly in 2013 proclaimed March 3 as World Wildlife Day. The resolution reaffirmed the intrinsic value of wildlife and its ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic contributions to sustainable development and human well-being.
Despite protection afforded by instruments such as CITES, today’s World Wildlife Day dawns on the fact that more than 10,000 out of roughly 74,000 known vertebrate species are endangered. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, more than 42,000 species faced extinction in 2022, an increase of roughly 9,000 compared to 15 years ago.
IUCN data indicate that 34.8% of assessed amphibian species are at risk of extinction, an increase of more than 4% compared to 2013. More than one-fifth of mammal species are thought to be at risk of going extinct, which represents an increase of almost 2% compared to 2008.
Habitat loss, environmental pollution and climate change remain the usual causative agents of species endangerment.