3 March 2021 is World Wildlife Day
The theme for World Wildlife Day 2021 is “Forests and livelihoods: Sustaining people and Planet,” to highlight the central role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally. There may be no forests in the Saldanha Bay municipal area, but we do receive products and services from forests.
Animals and plants often referred to as flora and fauna in the wild have a fundamental value as they play a vital role in different ecosystems. They further add more value to ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational and cultural aspects of human well-being.
World Wildlife Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the variety of wild flora and fauna across the globe. The day also urges us to step up in terms of raising awareness of the importance of wildlife species and how conservation of wildlife species is beneficial for the environment and people.
World Wildlife Day also promotes and enlightens us to fight against wildlife crimes such as poaching, deforestation and illegal hunting. Such activities reduce wildlife species which are key in many ecological processes.
The constant need of resources to sustain human needs has led to the unsustainable use and overexploitation of natural resources which has had a detrimental impact on the world’s biodiversity. Occurrences of extinction of species has rapidly increased in recent decades (dodo bird) whilst other species are on the brink of extinction (rhino, polar bear, panda etc). The need to conserve and promote sustainability is of high importance to sustain and secure the future of wildlife and human beings.
The west coast region has scenery filled with diversity with an array of different wildlife species found across the coast. Large antelope such as eland, red hartebeest, bontebok, duiker, steenbok, grysbok and smaller mammals such as honey badger, cape fox, bat eared fox, caracal and cape grey mongoose are found within the west coast. The west coast is also home to a variety of wildlife such as black harrier, cape mole and the mole snake.
Plant life is very vibrant with plants such as boksdoring, kukumakranka and many other plant species from the fynbos biome. The west coast is well known for its variety of fish species such as the angel fish, galjoen, white stumpnose, mussels, kabeljou, snoek, hake and other aquatic species.
There are many more species of wildlife within the west coast. This should give us ever more reason to protect and conserve the wildlife.