Each and every species that live on Earth contributes to the nature in its own way. These are responsible for the social, ecological, economic, cultural, aesthetic and scientific aspects of human life. They are also associated with the sustainable development of mankind and nature.
If there is a problem with any of the species then the whole ecological system may get disrupted. Hence, it is our duty to maintain the balance in nature. We can do (and have done) several things to maintain the balance such as the building of forest reserves and sanctuary, and spreading awareness about the protection of endangered species like big cats.
UN World Wildlife Day is such an awareness program, which is celebrated on 3rd March every year, to raise awareness of the protection and prevention of the world’s wild plants and animals.On this day we can celebrate many beautiful and wide range of wild flora and fauna. We can also aware people about the benefits of conservation of wild flora and fauna.
What are big cats
The term “big cat” mainly refers to those animals that have the ability to roar. The four largest and the living species of the genus Panthera are included in the “big cat” family. These living members are tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards, arranged in the descending order of their potential size.
There are some other species as well which are included in the “big cat” family. These species basically do not roar and include the animals such as clouded leopard, snow leopard, Sunda clouded leopard, puma, and cheetah.
All the big cats may vary in size but their behavior and structure are quite similar.All of them are carnivores and are efficient and apex predators. The big cats are found in many regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and America.
The theme of World Wildlife Day in 2018
“Big cats: predators under threat“, is the theme of the World Wildlife Day to be celebrated on 3rd March 2018.
Due to various human activities, big cats today are facing enormous threats and are on the verge of extinction. Their population has been declining gradually due to their loss of habitat. Illegal trade, poaching, conflicts with people and unavailability of their prey are yet some other reasons for the declination of their population at the disturbing rate.
Over the past 100 years, tiger populations have been dropped sharply by 95% which is very sad. Furthermore, the populations of the African lion has also plummeted by 40% in 20 years, which is very shocking. Various measures and steps are being taken to overcome these crises; hence, the theme on the World Wildlife Day 2018 is based on big cats.
Reasons for big cat threat
- Loss of Habitat: Deforestation and agricultural expansion are the major issues for the loss of habitats for jaguars in the Amazon and tigers in India.
- Human Conflicts: Ranchers are problems with wild cats who usually hunt these cats to save their livestock from the cats.
- Global Warming: It’s becoming quite difficult for the big cats to adapt to the climate change i.e. rise in temperature due to global warming.
Let us join hands together and pray for the survival of the endangered wild and big cats.