World Wildlife Day 2020: Animal Species Under Threat and How You Can Help

Today is World Wildlife Day 2020 and this year's theme is "sustaining all life on Earth." March 3 was declared World Wildlife Day in 2013, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's animals and plants.

Sustaining wildlife, including animals and plants, is so important, as a statement on the Wildlife Day website explains: "Historically, we have depended on the constant interplay and interlinkages between all elements of the biosphere for all our needs: the air we breathe, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the materials we need for all purposes.

"However, unsustainable human activities and overexploitation of the species and natural resources that make up the habitats and ecosystems of all wildlife are imperiling the world's biodiversity.

"Nearly a quarter of all species are presently at risk of going extinct in the coming decades, and their demise would only speed up the disappearance of countless others, putting us in danger as well."

Learn about the animals and plants that are under threat in your area of the U.S. and what you can do to help conserve their habitats. Plus, find out below how else you can get involved on World Wildlife Day 2020.

Animal species under threat in the U.S.

  • Florida Panther
  • Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  • Mississippi Gopher Frog
  • San Joaquin kit fox

Florida panther

While the Florida panther is the state's official animal, it is also one of the U.S.' most endangered mammals. The most common cause of death among Florida Panthers at the hands of humans is vehicle collisions, as the panthers have to cross busy roads to navigate the wildlands.

You can help the conservation of the Florida panther by adopting a panther. This will help the Defenders of Wildlife to construct highway underpasses and maintain habitat connectivity, to allow the Panthers to move around safely.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Overfishing of the Atlantic bluefin tuna means that its population has decreased to critically low levels and now the species is endangered. To help conserve the Atlantic bluefin tuna, ensure that any tuna you buy or consume at restaurants is sustainably caught. You can also donate to the World Wildlife (WWF) organization, which is researching the fish to help create successful fishery management plans.

World Wildlife Day 2020
World Wildlife Day is celebrated on March 3 and this year’s theme is "Sustaining all life on Earth." Wildlife Day

Loggerhead sea turtle

The Loggerhead sea turtle is listed as threatened in the U.S., which means that the species is likely to become endangered. The greatest threat that the Loggerhead sea turtle is facing is the loss of nesting habitat due to "coastal development, predation of nests, and human disturbances that cause disorientations during the emergence of hatchlings," according to Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To help Loggerhead sea turtles, you can adopt a turtle or reduce the amount of plastic you use to reduce the amount of trash polluting the ocean.

Mississippi gopher frog

The Mississippi gopher frog is under threat due to the destruction of its habitat, as 98 percent of America's native longleaf-pine forest has been destroyed, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

To support the Mississippi gopher frog, you can donate to the Center for Biological Diversity, which is working alongside the Gulf Restoration Network and Columbus Communities to protect one of the gopher frog's last remaining breeding ponds.

San Joaquin Kit Fox

The San Joaquin kit fox found in the southwestern part of the U.S. It is an endangered species threatened by loss of habitat to farming and development.

To help with San Joaquin kit fox, you can donate to The Defenders of Wildlife, which is working with the California Cattlemen's Association and its California Rangeland Conservation Coalition to restore 13 million acres of rangelands in the Central Valley.

How to help on World Wildlife Day 2020

There are lots more ways to get involved on World Wildlife Day. You could visit your local zoo, wildlife park, museum, botanical gardens or national park, and learn what they're doing to help animals and plants under threat.

You could research ways that your community can help its local wildlife, make an effort to purchase sustainable and organic products, you could volunteer with wildlife organizations, inform authorities if you find out about illegal fishing and wildlife trafficking, and speak out about wildlife conservation.

Join the conversation on social media by following and using the hashtags #WorldWildlifeDay, #WWD2020, #SustainingAllLife, #Biodiversity2020, and #SustainableUse.

Newsweek has affiliate partnerships. If you make a purchase using our links, we may earn a share of the sale.