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Make a pledge for World Wildlife Day

The Titchwell tick-list, a fortnightly column with Titchwell Nature Reserve's Carrie Carey

Not everything I have is digitalised. I scan, email, text and Whats App as much as anybody and, while I use Outlook to keep track of my business schedules, I still love the visual aspect of a paper calendar.

The one in my office is particularly inspiring because every month highlights a different species of wildlife.

Will you help to sustain life on Earth this World Wildlife Day?
Will you help to sustain life on Earth this World Wildlife Day?

A mother bear playing with her cubs, a beaver purposefully at work, a honeybee carefully collecting pollen.

Each image documents the importance of wildlife to human well-being.

Our lives are influenced by nature in every aspect and whether this is ecological, social, economic, cultural or aesthetic, the value of wildlife to us should be incalculable.

Yet, despite this, we have failed to recognise that wildlife has a worth beyond providing us with sustenance, clothing and amusement.

Wild animals have their own reasons for existing. Like us, they feel pain, hunger and fatigue, they experience joy and loss, have families and live in communities, endure struggles and achieve success.

A quick flick through the TV channels will bring you face to face with incredible wildlife encounters. Species that display intelligence, make their own tools, build incredible homes and show concern for one another.

And yet, for millennia, mankind has driven animals to the edge of extinction and frequently into it.

It is estimated that there is 50 percent less wildlife on Earth today than in the 1970s and I wonder how my calendar will look in another 40 years.

Perhaps a more pressing question should be: what will become of us and all of life on Earth, if our wildlife continues to vanish?

Today marks World Wildlife Day and the theme for 2020 is “Sustaining all life on Earth”.

Our planet is a uniquely habitable place for humans, there’s not another one like it in our solar system and it is the interaction of all life forms with each other that makes it so.

If we want to continue to live here, then we need to be better housekeepers and clean up the mess we are making.

We know that we have over exploited our planet’s natural resources, we know that we need to reduce unsustainable lifestyles and we know we need to protect our threatened biodiversity. Is it possible to make a difference as individuals? Of course it is, environmental sustainability starts with personal responsibility.

Produce less waste, use less energy, drive more conservatively, buy used instead of new. On a wider scale, have conversations with your family, neighbours and community. Lobby your MP, borough council or energy provider.

We have the right to push for a more sustainable relationship with nature but we don’t have much time.

The RSPB and BTO have recently launched Red Sixty Seven, a collection of 67 love letters to 67 species of the UK’s most vulnerable, red listed birds.

In an ideal world this book would not exist, but it does because the UK’s birds, along with other species of wildlife, are disappearing at an alarming rate.

So, here is my call to action: pick one thing that you can do today for the world’s wildlife. Then do it the next day and the day after that.

Turn off the light as you leave the room, buy local produce, nip the thermostat down half a degree.

Like putting pennies in a jar, start off small and not only will it be easy but it will soon become a habit. One that can help save the wildlife we rely on and cannot exist without.

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