This is a guest post from Emily Wick of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group and Zoos & Aquariums for 350.
May 22 was the International Day for Biological Diversity – a day to celebrate the complexity of life on our planet. While the day was an opportunity to appreciate the way nature amazes and sustains us, we’re also faced with the scary truth: biodiversity is increasingly threatened by climate change. Impacts from climate change such as ocean acidification, sea level rise, extreme weather events, and interrupted seasonal cycles all have potential to negatively affect wildlife, and many species are already experiencing these disruptions.
That’s why on May 22, zoological institutions and wildlife conservationists around the world “Showed the Wild Face of Climate Change.” Through photographs, educational programs, and activities for their visitors, zoos and aquariums illustrated the connection between climate change and the survival of the animal species in their care, and expressed their commitment to returning the planet to safe levels of atmospheric CO2.
Photos poured in from all 7 continents and all regions of the globe, from India to Brazil, from Spain to Namibia. Over 150 species are represented, ranging from familiar species like polar bears, orangutans, and cheetahs to the lesser known Polynesian tree snails, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, and Malayan flying fox.
Click here to view them all or check out #Wild350 on Twitter and Instagram.
Though the pictures themselves are great fun to look at, today’s “Show the Wild Face of Climate Change” is a strong reminder that climate change has and will have huge impacts on biodiversity. For this reason, zoos, aquariums, and conservation organizations join with 350.org in the fight against climate change.
The activity was organized by Zoos & Aquariums for 350, a climate change initiative spearheaded by the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, a specialist group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN).