World Wildlife Day: A World Without Wildlife, is Not a World at All


What would the world absent of wildlife look like? We might think of a morning without the chiming song of birds, an ocean without whales spouting blasts of sea water beside ships, or a forest without the heart-stopping calls of chimpanzees. This is a world we cannot imagine, because it is one we should not imagine. Today, on World Wildlife Day, we stand up together to make sure this incomprehensible possibility of horrific loss of plants and animals is prevented entirely. From butterflies to bears, from turtles to tasmanian devils; All living things deserve to live and stay wild.


On March 3rd, the United Nations declared a day to raise awareness for the delicate situations pertaining to the protection of our global heritage of wildlife. It is one day we celebrate – though the call to act on behalf of our natural world of animals and plants is more urgent than ever, and must be carried throughout the year. For not only will a world devoid of wildlife be an unbearable one, it will be one that causes the collapse of all living things and the millions of ecosystems of which we are a part and rely on as fellow animals and human beings. This we cannot allow.

Dr. Goodall and JGI have a message for everyone to encourage our persistence in this fight:

Dr. Goodall and JGI have always realized the potential and magnificence of youth when they are listened to and supported in starting something of their own. Nearly one quarter of the world’s population is between 10 and 24, and as they become the leaders and thinkers of tomorrow, we must give them the space to envision the world they want and evaluate the best ways to create that future. Through our Girl’s Scholarships and gender and health initiatives, we are focusing on ways to improve the lives of young people by providing the tools and resources to self start and live in harmony with wildlife in key conservation sites. Most essentially, we have been growing and evolving Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, a youth lead program which invigorates young people from nearly 100 countries to examine the problems in their communities on a local and global scale, and to build projects to make a tangible difference for people, animals, and the environment. With these voices, ours, and your own, we will develop the best ways forward to protect our world, and all of its precious wildlife.


We Can Make a Difference

100 years ago, there were over one million chimpanzees in their range in Africa. Today, there are only 340,000 in the entire world. Other species are faltering as well, like the mountain gorilla which is teetering on the edge with a population of only 880 individuals (WWF). The California Condor, North America’s largest land bird, was extinct in the wild until their reintroduction in 1992, and today, their numbers are only in the 200s (Defenders). Stories like these are the unfortunate norm, due to poaching, agricultural land use and removal of habitat, climate change, and a barrage of other factors. What is also the norm, thankfully, is our efforts to save global wildlife. Below are a list of our top 15 stories from Dr. Goodall and JGI about people turning these numbers around, and ways to remain hopeful in the endeavor to protect wildlife.

Ways to get involved:

To learn more about our programs to save great apes and other wildlife visit here.
Share your stories of hopeful species conservation using #HopeforAnimals tagging @janegoodallinst.


The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Director of Storytelling & Marketing for Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including 10+ years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking organizations, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces including Greens REALIGN. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to transform hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.

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