The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society recognized the inaugural World Wildlife Day on March 3, 2014, by publicly releasing a video that showcases photos taken of Zoo animals by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore as part of the “Photo Ark.” The purpose of World Wildlife Day, according to the United Nations, is to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. World Wildlife Day was established by the UN after the March 3,1973 adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
“Every day, we strive to honor our mission of inspiring people to act on behalf of wildlife,” said Jan Steele, General Curator for the Zoo. “Now that March 3rd has become a day for everyone to celebrate global flora and fauna, it’s our chance to show our conservation efforts here at the Palm Beach Zoo to the world.”
John E. Scalon, Secretary-General of CITES, said in a statement, “While we cherish wildlife in its own right we should not forget that it also contributes to our personal well-being - from food to medicine – from culture to recreation. But today our wildlife is suffering from habitat loss as well as a grave threat from illegal trade, which is worth many billions of dollars every year. This illegal trade is now threatening the survival of some of our most charismatic species, as well as some plants and animals you may never have heard of.”
National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore photographed some of the Zoo’s animals in November 2013 as part of his “Photo Ark” project, to commemorate animal species before the threat of extinction. Sartore explains on his website, “The goal of the Photo Ark is to document biodiversity, show what’s at stake and to get people to care while there’s still time.”
With nearly 1,000 animals, the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society participates in endangered species propagation and educational programs, including worldwide videoconferencing classes. The Zoo also supports conservation initiatives in the field, and employees regularly take action to lower the Zoo’s own electrical and carbon footprints, to ultimately lessen global pressure on wild habitat.
Link to “Photo Ark” ZooTube video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/7IBgx4KMRXc