October 4th is a date that’s promoted by the World Organization for Animal Protection, with the goal of slowing down the extinction of many species. This particular day was chosen to coincide with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the saint of animals.
Nowadays, almost 40% of all of the animal species of the planet are in danger of extintion, mainly for human causes. We’re talking about one million of endangered species.According to the report of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) the “state of health” of the planet is bleak in its results: ecosystems and natural spaces are declining globally; the rate of extinction of animal and plant species has increased to such an extent that one million of the eight existing species could disappear in a matter of decades; nature is deteriorating and human beings will see their lives affected by it.
More percentages and numbers
The presence of native species in most major terrestrial habitats has declined by at least 20%, mostly since 1900.
More than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened. Although the status of insects is less clear, evidence is available to support the estimate that 10% are threatened. At least 680 vertebrate species have been driven to extinction since the 16th century. On the other hand, more than 9% of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture became extinct in 2016. At least 1,000 more breeds are now threatened.
Initiatives to protect the animals
Activities during the celebration in all countries seek to stop these causes, reducing indiscriminate hunting and consumption, pollution or illegal trade, among others. Non-profit organizations, governments, companies and individuals alike join in these activities.
There is a day related to Animal Day: International Animal Rights Day. This day has been celebrated since 1997 with the same objective as Animal Day, demanding that all animals deserve the same respect as human beings.
The intention of celebrating World Animal Day is to remind us that, although we are the most evolved species, this does not take away the rights and protection of the rest of the animals on the planet.
Because we are all part of a chain known as the cycle of life, and the destruction of any species generates great havoc in nature.