World Wildlife Day: You don’t have to be cute to be endangered

March 3 is World Wildlife Day; an opportunity to celebrate the world’s wild animals and plants and to reflect on the importance of biological diversity. It is also a chance to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that wildlife bring to society and individuals and to discuss the threats facing many species.

Biodiversity is declining faster now than at any time in human history. Since 1970, there has been, on average, almost a 70% decline in the populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. It is thought that one million animal and plant species, almost a quarter of the global total, is threatened with extinction.

The RSK Creative team has a strong interest in biodiversity and the natural world. Many of our staff are natural scientists or long-term supporters of wildlife conservation projects. We recently had the chance to add some of our design skills into the wildlife conservation mix with a project that involved creating new livery for vehicles using endangered species as the design motifs. Clients at ADAS, an RSK company and the UK’s largest independent agricultural and environmental consultancy, nominated species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species for us to use as design elements. Their selections were not the most attractive species, but you don’t have to be cute to be endangered.

There are many compelling reasons for conserving wildlife. First, high biodiversity levels help to ensure food security by promoting agricultural biodiversity, which plays an important role in building a secure, robust and thriving food system. Second, conservation helps to protect public health. More than 50% of modern medicines and more than 90% of traditional medicines come from wild plants and animals. And, third, it provides a host of economic, social and cultural opportunities for local communities.

We invite you to take a moment on March 3 to consider how precious wildlife is and how it enhances your world.