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The Wild – Tread or Trade?

The human population has grown exponentially over the past years, to more than 7 billion people today! As it continues to grow rapidly every day, natural resources are being consumed faster than ever on the planet. In this fast-paced life of continuous growth and development, what we have forgotten is that we share this planet with millions of other species of plants and animals; a variety of wildlife that enriches our lives in so many ways.

As the human population continues to exploit the natural resources, it is important to think about the wildlife. As part of the world’s ecosystems, wildlife provides balance and stability to nature’s processes. Did you know that our planet’s biodiversity loss has been more than half since 1970, and so many species are going extinct at an alarming rate?!

The goal of wildlife conservation is to ensure the survival of these species, and to educate people on living sustainably with all other species on the planet. Let’s dive into the latest issue of Wisdom Nuggets and learn about the illegal wildlife trade on our planet!

Human actions threaten wildlife in two main ways: by destroying and damaging the places where species live, and by using them in ways that are unsustainable. Did you know that pangolin is the only mammal in the world to have large scales covering its body – a protection from many predators but not from the rampant illegal trade that threatens the future of all eight pangolin species! Yes, believe it or not, but it was estimated that 195,000 pangolins were trafficked in 2019, for their meat and scales – a trade that’s larger than for any other mammal!

WWF India along with TRAFFIC (Trade Record Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce) has started a programme under which 8 super sniffer dogs have been trained to join the forces and protect India’s wildlife from illegal trading. Read more about this inspiring story here.  

Get inspired and Watch this video to know what WWF India is doing to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

Get creative and link the environmental education with your favorite subject in the curriculum!

1. Language– Look  at the  illegal wildlife trade map of the world. Pick any one trafficked animal that you would like to be the voice for. Write an appeal to the people of the world to stop wildlife trade to protect them, the world and humanity.

2. Social Studies–Look at the following chart and put names of the government, departments, agencies and business in each toothed wheel at national level that can bring a change in the current alarming situation of illegal wildlife trade.

3. Math–Gather information about illegal wildlife trade statistics from HERE. Plot the  statistics on a bar graph to show how the trade has grown in past few decades.

4. Science–Read 10 fascinating facts about the critically endangered Amur Leopards. Give a presentation in the class about the ecological importance of the predators such as these.

Illegal wildlife trade has a significant impact on human health as well. The first pandemic of the 21st century–Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)–infected more than 8,000 people before it was contained! Here is how you can step up and take action to stop illegal wildlife trade in your country:

  1. Ask before you buy – If you’re unsure where something like jewelry or clothing comes from, simply ask. Ask the vendor what it’s made of, where it’s from, and if its country of origin allows its sale. Always stick to certified products only, in case of furniture or paper.

  1. Pledge your support – There’s strength in numbers. Stand with WWF and pledge to stop wildlife crime and commit to preserving nature’s beauty for future generations.

Time for an exciting competition for your dull summers! Read this beautiful story, Ambushed, and go with Tara on an adventure in the woods.  

Now create your very own adventurous poster/short story/comic strip which celebrates the magnificent Tigers of India.  Send it to us on oneplanetacademy@wwfindia.net by 26-07-2020 (Sunday).

Winners will be announced on our social media on 29-07-2020 i.e. International Tiger Day!

Let’s take this pop quiz and test your knowledge about the planetary threats to wildlife of our planet! Get ready and gear up for Wild Wisdom Quiz, 2020 as we Re-imagine our Planet together.