The 3rd of March is World Wildlife Day. This year the theme is ‘Forests and livelihoods: sustaining people and planet’ which aims to draw attention to the connection between forests and people. It is estimated that approximately 800 million people live in tropical forests and savannahs around the world, many of them Indigenous Peoples.
For World Wildlife Day, we would like to raise awareness of forest-dwelling endangered wildlife which are native to the countries that host the cities inspiring our collections: Spain (Barcelona Collection), United Arab Emirates (Dubai Collection), and South Korea (Seoul Collection). We also suggest a few ways you can help to support their survival.
Spain is home to one of the most endangered species of wild cats, the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus). Iberian Lynx are shy and solitary, living in the Mediterranean oak forests and scrublands on the Iberian Peninsula. Once reduced to two small areas west of the Pyrenees mountains, their numbers are slowly rising and populations expanding, mostly due to captive breeding programs. Now one of the biggest threats to Iberian Lynx is road traffic deaths. If visiting the regions of southwest Spain where Iberian Lynx are found, like the Doñana Biosphere Reserve, you can help by being careful while driving, particularly during dusk and dawn. Short documentaries by BBC Earth and Planet Doc provide more information about Iberian Lynx.
The United Arab Emirates is home to the second largest population of Dugongs (Dugong dugon) in the world. These gentle and peaceful giants are sometimes called “sea cows” because they feed exclusively on Sea Grasses, which are some of the most threatened marine ecosystems globally. The Murawah Marine Biosphere Reserve and the Al Yasat Marine Protected Area support substantial populations of Dugongs where they feed in the shallow coastal waters surrounded by Mangrove Forests and Coral Reefs. If visiting these beautiful coastal regions of the United Arab Emirates be sure to choose a responsible boat operator that travels slowly and remains at a respectful distance from marine life. To learn more about Dugongs, check out these short videos by National Geographic and the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation.
Asian Black Bear
The Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus ussuricus) is one of the most endangered species in South Korea with approximately 50 individuals remaining. Sometimes called “Moon Bears”, they live in the broad-leaved forests of the alpine region, mostly in and around the Jirisan National Park. An individual Asian Black Bear was also spotted in an area off-limits to humans. Asian Black Bears are curious, adapted to living in trees and survive on a predominantly vegetarian diet. If you visit South Korea, or countries across Asia where Asian Black Bears are found, you can help their survival by avoiding the purchase of products containing bear bile and by supporting efforts that aim to protect Asian Black Bears.