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Humans are fortunate to share planet Earth with incredible wildlife, however human activity increasingly threatens the survival of the other species we share our home with. Pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, deforestation for farmland and urban development has rapidly increased the rate of species extinction, with an average decline of 69% in species populations since 1970 (WWF’s Living Planet Report 2022)

Today is World Wildlife Day and it serves a great reminder that we all have a shared responsibility to co-exist with and ensure the welfare of wild animals.

Here are some ways we, as individuals can help:

  1. Use Less Plastic and Recycle What You Use: By seeking our groceries and other products with less packaging, and utilizing your recycling bin, you’ll be preventing additional plastic from making its way to the oceans, harming aquatic life, or turning up in the stomachs of seabirds.
  2. Make Sustainable Fashion Choices: A lot of clothing is made with non-sustainable materials, like clothes made from animal products, and require huge amounts of deforested land for production. Buying second-hand clothing is a great way to recycle what is already in existence rather than using more resources to produce something new.
  3. Choose Plant-based Foods: A staggering 60 percent of all mammals on the planet are livestock, 36 percent are human, and just 4 percent are wild animals. When it comes to birds, 70 percent are farmed poultry, with just 30 percent being wild. Clearing land to graze farmed animals accounts for roughly 40 percent of all deforestation, causing wild species to lose their food sources and homes. If humans ate more plant-based foods, less land would be deforested to grow food for and graze livestock, supporting the survival of wild species.The good news is that making sustainable food choices is growing in popularity, with an increasing variety of plant-based options found at most supermarkets and restaurants. For those new to plant-based eating and cooking, the internet is full of simple tasty recipes to try.
  4. Ensure Your Community is Wildlife Inclusive: There are lots of ways to live in harmony with wildlife. Here are just a few:
    • Keep your cats indoors or put a bell on your cat when they are outside to warn wildlife. In Canada it is estimated that cats kill 100-350 million wild birds a year.
    • Avoid toxic herbicides or pesticides. Certain herbicides and pesticides are pollutants that can cause severe damage to the environment and kill wildlife.
    • Conserve local habitats. Plant native plant species in your garden or on your property, help clean local beaches, and restore local wetlands to support local wildlife populations.
  5. Tell the world!
    • Talk to your family and friends about the advantages of recycling, buying eco-friendly products, and plant-based eating.
    • Be a voice for endangered species on social media.
    • Get involved with local community groups working to curb species extinction and
    • Join awareness raising events like the Winnipeg Climate Strike that is happening today at the Manitoba Legislative building.


Sources and further reading: