World Wildlife Day goes viral with short video that promotes the protection of big cats

Geneva/New York, 1 March 2018 – The United Nations has released the official public service announcement for the United Nations’ World Wildlife Day 2018 celebrated each year on March 3rd – the original signing date of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The one-minute fifty-seconds video mirrors the theme of this year’s celebration, “Big Cats: Predators Under Threat". 

The video shows stunning footage of lions, jaguars, snow leopards, tigers and other cat species in stunning wild landscapes across Africa, Latin America, and Asia as well as the efforts to save these majestic species on the ground.

Cristian Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said, “The threats facing big cat species found across the globe must be curtailed with strategic and coordinated efforts. The focus on big cats this World Wildlife Day will help raise awareness and spark support for actions to save these majestic species including, lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, snow leopards and others. We are honored to partner with the United Nations with the release of the World Wildlife Day official video that highlights just how important these species are to what makes our planet astounding and wonderful.”

John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES, said: “The majestic big cats inspire us with their beauty, their speed, their strength, and their raw energy. But big cats face many threats to their survival in the wild. People have caused these threats to our big cats and people can also choose to resolve them. A crisis can still be averted, if we take action now! As the official facilitator for the global celebration of World Wildlife Day, we are most grateful to WCS for the generous support in the production of this powerful video.”

The UN has  translated the video into Chinese, French and Spanish. People around the world have offered to translate it into other non-UN languages.

This Public Service Announcement video (PSA) has been widely shared on social media in the run-up to World Wildlife Day. Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCarprio has shared it on his Twitter account. Some TV stations and airlines have offered to show it on TV and inflight entertainment system. This is the first time a World Wildlife Day PSA has reached such a wide global audience.

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Video Credits:

The video was written, produced, and edited by WCS Executive Producer Natalie Cash. WCS Staff Videographer Jeff Morey provided motion graphics.  Footage came from International Fund for Animal Welfare, Panthera, Biggest and Baddest series | Gryphon Productions, and Shutterstock.

CITES

With 183 Parties, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of trade. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, health care, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion.

CITES regulates international trade in over 36,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, to ensure their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable.

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.

World Wildlife Day:

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.

Over the past century we have been losing big cats, the planet’s most majestic predators, at an alarming rate. World Wildlife Day 2018 gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about their plight and to galvanize support for the many global and national actions that are underway to save these iconic species. Through World Wildlife Day big cats will generate the level of attention they all deserve to be sure they are with us for generations to come.