The Animal Awareness Days & Dates To Know In 2024

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Want to help support wildlife? With my handy month-by-month guide, you’ll find all the animal awareness days and dates across the globe that are taking place in 2024.

As species vanish at a rate not seen in 10 million years, the International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are warning that more than 1 million species are currently facing the threat of extinction due to human activity.

Caused by a deadly combination of habitat destruction, hunting, pollution and human-induced climate change, the situation is so bad that scientists say we’ve entered a sixth mass extinction.

It’s a bleak picture, but there is hope. Conservations are working to develop more and more protected areas for animals to thrive in, and rewilding projects across the globe are creating new spaces for species to thrive in.

You might feel powerless to help. However, like the myriad environmental awareness days, there are a whole host of animal awareness days that you can help get behind. By helping to spread the word, you can make people aware of the plight each endangered species faces.

The Wildlife Awareness Days & Dates To Know In 2024

Leopard seal swimming in the sea with fish with a blue text box that reads the animal awareness days and dates to know this year.

Wondering where to start? I’ve put together all of the wildlife and endangered species awareness days I can find. So whether you are planning your workplace social media or event calendar, or your local community group’s calendar, here are the dates to know.

To make things extra helpful, I’ve included links, where possible, to official pages with resources to support each day.

This post is a HUGE one. After all, there are so many animals out there in need of help. So to help you pinpoint the dates you need, you can use the links below to skip to a specific month. Alternatively, keep scrolling for the full post:

January

Red squirrel on moss eating a nut

Help endangered species with the awareness days you need to know for January:

National Bird Day – 5th January 2024

The 5th of January is designated as National Bird Day. Set up by the Avian Welfare Coalition, the day aims to reduce the suffering of birds by raising public awareness of the destructive bird trade, the realities of cruel bird breeding mills, and ways to improve the welfare of birds already in captivity.

Penguin Awareness Day – 20th January 2024

The 20th of January sees Penguin Awareness Day – a special day in the calendar devoted to celebrating these flightless seabirds. With climate change a key threat for all species of penguins – the awareness day invites us to learn about the penguin’s lifestyle and environment, as well as how we can help raise awareness and make changes to factors that threaten their existence.

Squirrel Appreciation Day – 21st January 2024

Held on the 21st of January each year, Squirrel Appreciation Day, this animal awareness day is celebrated on this date as it’s a time of the year when squirrels can have a hard time finding food. Food is often scarce and freezing temperatures may lead to a lack of water for our furry friends to drink. Frozen ground may also mean that squirrels may not be able to get access to their previously buried food caches.

As such, the day is a good reminder of the need to put out extra food for squirrels, whilst learning about the plight of the red squirrel in the UK.

Big Garden Bird Watch – 26th – 28th January 2024

Organised by the RSPB, the Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s largest garden wildlife survey. To take part, simply spend an hour watching the birds in your garden, any time between the 26th and 28th of January, and record the birds that land in your garden. Then tell the RSPB what you saw (even if you saw nothing) by submitting your results online or by post. This citizen survey helps the RSPB gain valuable insight into how garden birds are faring.

International Zebra Day – 31st January 2024

International Zebra Day brings us all together on the 31st of January each year to celebrate these striped animals and raise awareness of the threats they face. This includes habitat loss, climate change and poaching. Share facts about zebras on social media and share their plight to help ensure these unique creatures are preserved for the future.


February

A whale lifting its head out of the ocean

Here are the key wildlife days to know in February:

World Ostrich Day – 2nd February 2024

The 2nd of February is World Ostrich Day – a celebration of the world’s largest living bird. Whilst the common Ostrich has a relatively stable population, the North African Ostrich subspecies has been in rapid decline for over 50 years. This is due to hunting, egg collection and habitat loss.

World Marmot Day – 2nd February 2024

World Marmot Day is held on the 2nd of February each year – mainly in Alaska, where it’s an official holiday. As marmots are particularly prolific in the state of Alaska, the official holiday was created to draw attention to this creature as it embodies some of Alaska’s folk values. Here the day is spent honouring these unique ground squirrels.

World Pangolin Day – 17th February 2024

Looking to celebrate pangolins? You are in luck. The third Saturday of every February sees World Pangolin Day being marked across the globe. The day is especially important as pangolin populations are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa. There is a large demand for pangolin scales used in some traditional medicines, while pangolin meat is considered a delicacy in some cultures.

The day is an opportunity for people to come together and raise awareness about these unique mammals – and their plight.

World Whale Day – 18th February 2024

World Whale Day – held each year on the third Sunday of February – is a day that seeks to raise awareness of the many whale species that are threatened or endangered due to human impacts.

Whales are at the top of the food chain and have an important role in the overall health of our oceans. Great Whales in particular also play a significant role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Yet the WWF say that six out of the 13 great whale species are classified as endangered or vulnerable, even after decades of protection.

It’s also estimated that each year, at least 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed as a result of fishery bycatch, while other threats including shipping and habitat loss lead to further deaths. World Whale Day seeks to raise awareness of these threats, to help encourage greater protection for whales.

World Bonobo Day – 14th February 2024

As well as being Valentine’s Day, you can show your love to bonobos on 14th February with World Bonobo Day.

As the ape we know least about, but is increasingly threatened due to logging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), it’s vital to raise awareness of Bonobos. Though the size of the bonobo population is largely unknown, it has likely been declining for the last 30 years. Scientists believe that the decline will continue for the next 45 to 55 years due to the bonobo’s low reproductive rate and increasing problems of logging in the DRC. Here redwood is felled for hardwood furniture and flooring in the West.

World Hippopotamus Day – 15th February 2024

World Hippopotamus Day is celebrated every year on the 15th of February. Its origins are unknown, are there are no official activities on the day. However, there’s no reason not to take some time on this day to learn more about these gargantuan animals. Not least because the IUCN has classified the hippopotamus as Vulnerable, This means the hippo is susceptible to extinction, because its population is in decline.

Numerous factors contribute to the decline of the hippo. Habitat loss – as land is cleared to create villages, roads and agricultural plantations – is a key factor. The ivory tusk trade has also decimated hippo populations, yet hippos receive less international protection against the ivory trade compared to elephants.

International Polar Bear Day – 27th February 2024

International Polar Bear Day, run by Polar Bear International, is an annual event celebrated every 27th of February to raise awareness about the conservation status of the polar bear. This environmental awareness day coincides with the time when polar bear mothers and cubs are snug in their dens.

Keeping mothers and cubs safe, while also addressing climate warming, is a critical part of Polar Bear International’s work on behalf of polar bears.

As part of the day’s celebrations, Polar Bear International focus on the need to protect denning polar bear families across the Arctic. Take part in live events, learn about polar bears, and donate to help the plight of the polar bear.


March

leopard seal swimming in sea surrounded by shoal of fish

Help wildlife with the awareness days you need to know for March:

World Wildlife Day – 3rd March 2024

World Wildlife Day is a global event, held every year on 3rd March, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.

Continued loss of species, habitats and ecosystems threatens all life on Earth, including us. People everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs, from food to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. Millions of people also rely on nature as the source of their livelihoods and economic opportunities. This day seeks to raise awareness of the vital role our wildlife has in sustaining the planet.

Buzzards Day – 15th March 2024

Confusingly Buzzards Day doesn’t actually celebrate the Common Buzzard. Instead, the day celebrates the Turkey Vulture, which is only found in the Americas.

This midwestern celebration celebrates the almost clock-like return of the turkey vultures, always on the 15th of March, to their roost trees after wintering in Central and South America. The day is hailed as a sign of spring in the Midwest.

National Panda Day – 16th March 2024

National Panda Day works to celebrate global conservation efforts to help save the panda. As a good news story, it is an example to be followed in protecting other wild species.

Facing many challenges, including habitat loss and poaching the panda population has been in decline. One classed as endangered, thanks to the efforts of conservationists, activists and organisations, panda populations are slowly beginning to recover. So much so that they have recently been moved from their “endangered” status to the less critical “vulnerable” status.

World Sparrow Day – 20th March 2024

The 20th of March each year marks World Sparrow Day – a day started by Nature Forever Society. This once widespread bird is now in serious decline, with populations in the UK alone having declined by 60% since 1979.

As well as raising awareness of sparrows, the day also aims to raise awareness of all formerly common birds, particularly in urban areas.

World Frog Day – 20th March 2024

World Frog Day works to increase awareness of the plight of threatened frog species around the world.

All amphibians, including frogs, are important components of the global ecosystem. Yet more than one-third of amphibians are threatened with extinction. The majority of the rest are declining in population.

The day acts as an important reminder of the need to come together to help save the frogs.

International Seal Day – 22nd March 2024

International Seal Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of seal conservation around the world, whilst celebrating this unique marine mammal.

Many seal species are targeted by hunters, and killed for their valuable meat, blubber, and pelts. Others are demonised by fishermen, who blame them for the decline in fish populations, and so kill seals in huge numbers.

Climate change also threatens seals, particularly ice seals, who live in the Arctic. These seals rely on ice. However, due to climate change rapid ice loss has been causing seal pups to be prematurely separated from their mothers during the milking period. Rapid ice loss and the inability to build dens for protection have also led to high pup mortality. These both threaten the viability of the ice seal population.

Seal Day works to raise awareness of these issues and bring together those working in seal conservation to help strengthen protections.

Manatee Appreciation Day – 27th March 2024

Held annually on the last Wednesday in March, Manatee Appreciation Day is a special day dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of manatees and promoting their conservation.

The day aims to educate the public about the importance of protecting manatees – the large marine mammals that are found in warm waters around the world, including Florida, the Caribbean, South America, and West Africa – and their habitats.


April

Beaver resting on a river bank

Here are all the wildlife days in April to know:

Be Kind To Spiders Week – 1st to 7th April 2024

Be Kind To Spiders Week, held annually on the first full week of April, is, as the name suggests, dedicated to showing kindness to arachnids. After all, spiders are a key part of a functioning ecosystem.

Spiders eat a variety of insects, many of which carry diseases or damage our garden plants. And while they’re busy feasting, in turn, many invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and birds, eat the spiders – often making up an important part of their diet. If we lose spiders, then our food chains could collapse.

The week encourages us to think more about the importance of spiders so that we look after them better.

World Aquatic Animal Day – 3rd April 2024

Every year, on the 3rd of April, World Aquatic Animal Day is celebrated. This dedicated day shines a spotlight on marine life and the challenges they face across the globe.

The day acts as a platform to raise awareness about the significance of safeguarding aquatic animals and their habitats – from tiny seahorses to mighty whales. After all, each and every aquatic animal plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of our oceans.

World Rat Day – 4th April 2024

Celebrated annually, World Rat Day scampers onto the calendar to spotlight these misunderstood creatures and advocate for their welfare.

Taking place on 4th April, it’s a day dedicated to raising awareness about the vital role rats play in ecosystems and promoting their humane treatment. This day strives to debunk myths, foster understanding of rats, and encourage us to see them in a new light.

International Beaver Day – 7th April 2024

The 7th of April is International Beaver Day. Held in recognition of their ecological significance, the day is dedicated to raising awareness about the vital role beavers play in shaping our landscapes, whilst promoting conservation efforts that work to help save the beaver.

From building intricate dams to fostering biodiversity, these aquatic engineers contribute to thriving ecosystems. International Beaver Day encourages us to appreciate their environmental impact and understand the need to safeguard their habitats.

Bat Appreciation Day – 17th April 2024

Bat Appreciation Day works to raise awareness about the significance of bats. With key functions, from insect control to pollination, bats play a crucial part in maintaining ecological balance.

Despite the importance of bats, they face threats due to guano mining, pesticide use, habitat loss and more. As such, the day also shines a spotlight on conservation efforts across the globe that help protect these much-misunderstood creatures.

World Curlew Day – 21st April 2024

World Curlew Day aims to raise awareness of the plight of the curlew, and the need to protect their wetland habitats.

A species under threat, we’ve already lost two curlew species –  the Eskimo and Slender-billed Curlews. The trajectory for the six remaining Curlew species is similar.

Habitat loss, agricultural practices, land development and unsustainable levels of predation are the main issues facing curlews. However, they are not the only issues. As ground-nesting birds, they face disturbance from leisure activities and dog walking.

The day invites us to take a moment to think about the Curlew and shine a spotlight on the organisations working tirelessly to help conserve this beautiful bird.

International Pallas’s Cat – 23rd April 2024

International Pallas’s Cat Day aims to spotlight these little-known feline species, as well as the challenges confronting them.

With core populations in China and Mongolia, they are threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, as well as hunting and poisoning of their prey. Their rarity combined with their reclusive behaviour has previously been a barrier to effective conservation.

However, with the formation of the Pallas’s Cat International Conservation Alliance (PICA) in 2016, this collaboration between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Nordens Ark Zoo of Sweden and the Snow Leopard Trust is working to expand our knowledge of the Pallas’s cat, and aid in its effective conservation. International Pallas’s Cat Day is one offshoot of this work.

World Day for Laboratory Animals – 24th April 2024

Running since 1979, World Day For Laboratory Animals acts as a catalyst to end the suffering of animals in laboratories around the world. Championing advanced scientific non-animal techniques, it seeks to advance the use of animal-free methods of testing. 

The day acknowledges the organisations tirelessly working to advance ethical practices. It also serves as a poignant reminder to reflect on the suffering of animals in laboratories all over the world.

Crow & Raven Appreciation Day – 27th April 2024

The 27th of April sees the celebration of Crow & Raven Appreciation Day. This is an occasion dedicated to raising awareness about these intelligent and often misunderstood birds.

Encountering threats, such as the loss of green spaces and urban development, plus misconceptions which contribute to their struggles, the day encourages us to reflect on the importance of these birds in maintaining ecological balance. It also encourages us to dispel the myths about these amazing birds.

World Tapir Day – 27th April 2024

World Tapir Day is a key animal awareness day that seeks to raise awareness about these large herbivorous mammals that inhabit Central and South America and Southeast Asia. Not only that, but the day also works to raise funds to purchase land to protect the tapir from further human encroachment.

Inhabiting jungle and forest regions, tapirs need large areas of undisturbed land to maintain a genetically diverse population. However, the jungle and forest they depend on are threatened by the expansion of mining, palm oil plantations, roads and settlements.

Coming together on World Tapir Day can help make a big difference to the future of this big mammal.

International Hyena Day – 27th April 2024

International Hyena Day aims to help change the public perception of hyenas – Africa’s most common large carnivore.

Hyenas have an unfair reputation as opportunistic scavengers. This means they are often persecuted, by poisoning, hunting, and trapping. As a result of this persecution, the overall range of brown hyenas, in particular, is thought to be in decline. Their habitats are also in decline. Yet hyenas are unique and vital components of most African ecosystems.

As such, the day calls for a moment of reflection on the importance of hyenas in maintaining ecological balance.


May

bee on pink and white flowers

Make space for wildlife in May with the following animal awareness days:

Be Kind To Animals Month – 1st to 31st May

Embrace compassion throughout Be Kind to Animals Month, observed each May. This month serves as a helpful reminder to extend kindness and empathy to our furry, feathered, scaled, and finned friends.

Encouraging responsible pet ownership, and promoting animal welfare, the week raises awareness about the challenges animals face, including abandonment and cruelty. It’s also a call to action to support shelters, practice the ethical treatment of animals, and cultivate a world where animals are respected and cherished.

World Tuna Day – 2nd May 2024

World Tuna Day highlights the ecological importance of tuna and the challenges this species faces. Threatened by overwhelming demand, World Tuna Day acts as a call to action to ensure the survival of these magnificent migratory fish, encouraging sustainable fishing practices, responsible consumption, and the preservation of ocean habitats.

International Leopard Day – 3rd May 2024

International Leopard Day encourages us to leap into action to help protect the leopard. Whilst they are the most adaptable of the big cats, their population numbers and distribution range are in decline. As such the day works to help save a spot for them in this rapidly changing world.

Wild Koala Day – 3rd May 2024

Wild Koala Day is dedicated to the preservation of the koalas and their habitats. Facing threats like habitat loss, disease, and climate change, the awareness day serves as a rallying point to raise awareness about the challenges these marsupials are currently facing.

International Respect For Chickens Day – 4th May 2024

International Respect For Chickens Day acknowledges the often-overlooked intelligence, social nature, and emotional capacities of chickens.

The day also highlights the fact that chickens deserve respect and humane treatment. As such, it advocates for ethical practices in poultry farming, urging awareness about the conditions in which these birds are raised.

World Donkey Day – 8th May 2024

World Donkey Day recognises the invaluable contributions of donkeys to agriculture, transportation, and therapy. Facing challenges like mistreatment and neglect, World Donkey Day advocates for their welfare and promotes responsible ownership.

World Migratory Bird Day – 11th May 2024

World Migratory Bird Day is an annual awareness-raising campaign held annually on the second Saturday of May, which highlights the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. The day also helps raise awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, as well as their importance in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

You can take part by attending any of the public events held across the globe. These include bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions.

Endangered Species Day – 17th May 2024

Endangered Species Day is a global event that involves celebrating, learning about, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species. Held every year on the third Friday in May, it’s run since 2006. With events online and across the globe, it’s a fun way to get involved in helping to protect our most vulnerable species.

World Bee Day – 20th May 2024

World Bee Day (which can lead to people asking if you meant to say ‘World Bidet’!) is, contrary to how it sounds, not a day celebrating a bathroom receptacle.

Instead, it is an international day to raise awareness around the vital role of bees and other pollinators in keeping people and the planet healthy. The day also seeks to raise awareness around the many challenges bees face today. 

With bees, pollinators, and many other insects in decline, this day provides an opportunity to promote actions that protect and enhance pollinators and their habitats, improve their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping.

World Turtle Day – 23rd May 2024

World Turtle Day is a yearly observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

As vital contributors to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, these resilient reptiles face threats from habitat loss, pollution, and illegal trade. As such, World Turtle Day encourages conservation initiatives, responsible tourism, and the protection of nesting sites.

World Otter Day – 28th May 2024

World Otter Day is a day to recognise the vital role otters play in freshwater ecosystems.

Faced with challenges, such as habitat degradation and pollution World Otter Day also shines a light on conservation efforts to safeguard their habitats and promote clean waterways. It also works to educate people on how to help protect the otter’s natural habitats.

World Dugong Day – 28th May 2024

Dugongs, often referred to as “sea cows,” face threats like habitat loss and accidental entanglement. World Dugong Day encourages awareness about their ecological significance and the need for sustainable practices to protect their seagrass habitats.

World Dugong Day encourages people to join the movement to preserve these marine mammals, support initiatives ensuring their well-being, and champion the health of coastal ecosystems.

Whooping Crane Day – 28th May 2024

Whooping Crane Day pays homage to the endangered Whooping Crane, one of North America’s rarest birds.

Recognising the importance of conservation efforts, the day sheds light on the challenges these iconic cranes face, including habitat loss and hunting pressures. Almost driven to extinction, and now coming back from the brink thanks to dedicated conservation work, it’s also the day to celebrate these triumphs.

World Parrot Day – 31st May 2024

World Parrot Day started 20 years ago as a way to let everyone know that these remarkable birds need protection in the wild.

With 1 in 3 parrot species threatened in the wild due to habitat loss, trapping for the pet trade, and other human-generated threats, World Parrot Day raise awareness about conservation efforts across the globe, who are working collectively to ensure a world where parrots soar freely in the wild.


June

A lynx on a snowy tree branch

Here are the species awareness days in June to know and help spread the word about:

International Lynx Day – 11th June 2024

The Eurasian lynx was once common in most of Europe. Yet over the last 200 years, many lynx populations have gone extinct – including the UK’s lynx population. In other countries, the lynx has hung on at much lower numbers – where populations ravaged due to hunting, and habitat loss.

The 11th of June is International Lynx Day – a day that aims to increase awareness of the lynx and promote peaceful co-existence between the lynx and local residents. This is because the successful reintroduction of the lynx into their appropriate habitats strongly depends on acceptance by the general public and farmers – who currently oppose the reintroduction of lynx in Scotland.

By changing perceptions of this shy feline, the hope is that the lynx can be successfully reintroduced – helping to restore ecosystems.

National Cougar Day – 12th June 2024

The 12th of June is National Cougar Day, a day that aims to raise awareness of the decline in cougars, whilst emphasising the importance of the conservation of this key feline species.

As the most wide-ranging and second-largest big cat native to the Americas, the cougar has faced the pressures of intensive hunting following European colonisation. Ongoing human development has also caused populations to decline in most parts of its historical range – with many cougar populations now classed as locally extinct.

International Working Animals Day – 15th June 2024

International Working Animals Day seeks to raise awareness about the vital role of working animals in people’s everyday lives. Both for families in the world’s poorest communities, and those in the UK and other wealthier nations.

Many everyday products we enjoy – from tea and coffee to chocolate, sugar and flowers – start the journey to our homes via the back of a working animal. From Costa Rica to Ethiopia, many animals are involved in transporting agricultural produce in small farms, fields and plantations.

These animals often lead short, hard lives, working in extreme conditions, with little rest, poor nutrition and no access to essential veterinary treatment. SPANA, the charity behind the awareness day, believes that these animals deserve help and greater respect and recognition.

World Sea Turtle Day – 16th June 2024

World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated to help raise awareness of the threats facing these beautiful creatures.

Six out of seven species of marine turtle are currently threatened with extinction. This is largely due to the sheer volume of plastic dumped in our oceans – an estimated 8 million tonnes a year. The sea turtles often mistake floating plastic for food, such as jellyfish. So much so, that ecologists estimate that one sea turtle out of two has ingested plastic.

The day is a good time to learn about the sea turtle, whilst thinking about what you do about plastic waste. Whether that’s thinking about how you can cut down on plastic usage, or getting in touch with brands to see what they are doing to decrease plastic packaging, every step helps in protecting the sea turtle.

My guide to the unexpected items that contain plastic makes for a good starting point.

World Croc Day – 17th June 2024

World Croc Day is an awareness day that highlights the plight of endangered crocodiles.

Crocodiles play a crucial role in maintaining the balance and health of their ecosystems. However, threats such as habitat destruction, illegal hunting, water pollution, and climate change present huge challenges to the survival of these species.

World Crocodile Day provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of crocodiles, and the threats facing them, whilst advocating for stronger conservation measures to help protect them.

World Horseshoe Crab Day – 20th June 2024

First celebrated in 2020, World Horseshoe Crab Day seeks to raise awareness of these “living fossils”, and showcase collective conservation efforts across the globe.

Horseshoe crabs support healthy coastal ecosystems. The crabs lay millions of eggs on beaches – which shorebirds, fish and other wildlife eat. Its large hard shell also serves as a microhabitat for many species. This includes sponges, mud crabs, mussels and snails. Without the horseshoe crab, lots of other species become threatened too.

Despite the importance of horseshoe crabs, their population is under threat. The crab is overharvested for food, bait and biomedical testing. Habitat loss due to coastal reclamation and development is also impacting on numbers. Meanwhile, human shoreline alterations that are put in place to protect beaches from erosion and sea level rise due to climate change also affect their spawning habitats.

World Giraffe Day – 21st June 2024

On World Giraffe Day, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) invites us all to celebrate the tallest animal on the longest day of the year – 21st June.

This annual worldwide celebration of giraffes helps to raise support, create awareness and shed light on the challenges these animals face in the wild. With only around 117,000 giraffes remaining in the wild, the day brings together zoos, schools, governments, institutions and conservation organisations to help work together to help save the giraffe.

World Camel Day – 22nd June 2024

Held on one of the hottest and longest days of the year, World Camel Day seeks to raise awareness of one of the most endangered large mammals on the planet.

Wild camels are classed as Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered. Hunting, pollution, illegal mining and human/animal conflict have caused populations to decline.

The day highlights the importance of the camel. It also works to raise awareness about the important role that camels play in contributing to food security, climate change adaptation, culture, and ecosystem management.


July

Two tigers sitting beside rocks

Here are the wildlife awareness days in July to know about:

Shark Awareness Day – 14th July 2024

Shark Awareness Day – held every year on the 14th of July – is a wildlife day that aims to dispel myths about sharks, whilst raising awareness about the plight of the shark.

In the last 50 years, shark numbers have declined by more than 70%. This means that one-third of all shark and ray species now face extinction. This reduction in shark population sizes has had a knock-on effect, with an associated loss of biodiversity and ocean ecosystems.

Sharks have been much maligned in cinema over the decades. So much so, that in 2022, Steven Spielberg said he truly regretted how the misrepresentative bloodthirsty portrayal of great white sharks in his 1975 film Jaws contributed to a sharp decline in the animals’ population. The movie series contributed to a rise in sports trophy hunting, leading to thousands of hunters heading to the east coast of the US to hunt sharks for sport.

To combat the misinformation around sharks, Shark Awareness Day seeks to bring about a huge positive shift in attitudes towards sharks so that we can work together to save this amazing and endlessly fascinating species.

World Chimpanzee Day – 14th July 2024

The 14th of July is also World Chimpanzee Day. Why the 14th? Well, it was on this day in 1960 when pioneering conservationist Dr Jane Goodall started her trailblazing research on the wild chimpanzees of Gombe National Park, Tanzania. It was here she made discoveries that rocked the scientific world, forever changing the way we look at our closest living relatives, and ourselves.

Described as a day of celebration – of chimpanzees and of our collective impact to help save them, the Day aims to empower communities everywhere to take action to ensure a secure and hopeful future for the chimpanzee species.

By educating global audiences about their uniqueness and innate value as a species, as well as their importance to ecosystems, the day also seeks to improve the understanding of chimpanzees. 

World Chimpanzee Day also aims to raise awareness and inspire action about threats they face in the wild. These include habitat loss, disease, and wildlife trafficking. It also seeks to advocate for chimpanzee welfare in captive situations.

World Orca Day – 14th July 2024

Taking place annually on the 14th of July, World Orca Day works to increase awareness and protection for orcas and the oceans.

Although Orcas can be known as Killer Whales, Orcas are actually part of the dolphin family. In fact, the Orca is the largest dolphin in the world. It’s also one of the most widely distributed species of all of the marine mammals, as Orcas are found in all of our oceans – from the Arctic to Antarctic regions right through to tropical seas.

It’s this huge range that means Orcas are considered by conservationists as an umbrella species. What this means is that if we can protect Orcas, then all the species and habitats that are part of their lives should be protected too.

World Snake Day – 16th July 2024

The 16th of July is World Snake Day, an annual opportunity to celebrate snakes and raise awareness about their preservation. Snakes are threatened by many issues that affect all wildlife – including habitat loss, climate change and disease. However, like sharks, many people have negative attitudes toward snakes, which act as a barrier to protecting snakes.

To help combat this, World Snake Day asks members of the public and organisations to share positive stories about snakes. Save The Snakes lists many good reasons to protect snakes to help get you started.

International Tiger Day – 29th July 2024

International Tiger Day, led by the WWF, is a chance to raise awareness about the plight of these magnificent big cats whilst promoting tiger conservation efforts worldwide.

Spend the day learning more about the most recognisable big cat on the planet, the environmental and human risks tigers face, and what you can do to aid in their long-term survival.


August

Two orangutans sitting beside each other.

Here are the species awareness days in August for your calendar:

International Clouded Leopard Day – 4th August 2024

International Clouded Leopard Day is a day devoted to raising awareness about the clouded leopard, a beautiful big cat found in the forests of Southeast Asia. Their fur has large, cloud-like spots that help to obscure the outline of their body in low light and forested conditions. However, these felines face numerous challenges such as habitat loss, hunting, and illegal trading.

International Moon Bear Day – 8th August 2024

International Moon Bear Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the world’s most exploited bear – the Asiatic black bear – also known as the Moon Bear. 

These playful bears are abused on a mass scale in the entertainment industry and for bear bile farming, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are kept in isolated, cramped cages, often for decades, and suffer both physically and psychologically.

The day is a time to come together and advocate for the rescue and protection of Moon Bears, and to call for the end of inhumane practices.

World Lion Day – 10th August 2024

Ready to roar into action? Well, on World Lion Day you can do just that with this day devoted to honouring the kings and queens of the savannah.

This global initiative aims to raise awareness about the conservation challenges these iconic big cats face. From habitat loss to poaching and exploitation in traditional medicine, lions face numerous threats to their existence. So much so, that the population of African Lions has dropped by 43% since 2001.

As such, the day is a time to come together to share the plight of the lion and shine a spotlight on key lion conservation projects.

World Elephant Day – 12th August 2024

World Elephant Day asks us all to help conserve and protect elephants from the numerous threats they face.

Launched in 2012, this awareness day shines a spotlight on the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. Despite being well-loved, elephants face poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity. These combined threats mean elephant populations are on the brink.

The day works towards better protection for wild elephants. This includes lobbying for improved policies to prevent illegal elephant poaching and ivory trading. Conserving elephant habitats is another key focus.

As well as wild elephants, the day also works towards better treatment for captive elephants. This includes, where appropriate, lobbying to reintroduce captive elephants into protected sanctuaries.

International Wolf Day – 13th August 2024

International Wolf Day works to dispel misconceptions about wolves, whilst promoting the significance of wolf conservation.

Facing challenges such as habitat loss and persecution by farmers and members of the public, the day works to turn things about. It’s all about educating people about the wolf’s vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, whilst supporting wolf rewilding initiatives.

World Lizard Day – 14th August 2024

World Lizard Day is an unofficial awareness day dedicated to celebrating the diversity of these reptilian creatures. From colourful chameleons to tiny geckos, this day is a chance to appreciate their unique adaptations and ecological significance.

International Orangutan Day – 19th August 2024

International Orangutan Day is a day to come together to recognise the most iconic victim of the destructive palm oil industry – the orangutan. With populations of the Sumatran Orangutan dropping 50% in just 8 years, the day helps rally the public to take action to preserve this amazing species, whilst emphasising the role of these great apes in maintaining biodiversity.

World Mosquito Day – 20th August 2024

World Mosquito Day may seem like an unusual day to celebrate, given the mosquito’s role in transmitting deadly diseases such as malaria. However, it’s a day to raise awareness of mosquito-borne diseases, as well as the continued work being undertaken to eradicate these diseases. With climate change, globalisation, and urbanisation all increasing the spread of malaria, the day helps to make people aware of the risks of malaria.

World Painted Dog Day – 26th August 2024

World Painted Dog Day brings us together to celebrate African Painted Dogs, also known as African Wild Dogs.

With threats including habitat loss and poaching, conservationists have warned that these unique dogs could be lost within our lifetimes. This means the day is hugely important – helping to raise awareness of the threats these canines face whilst bringing together the conservation groups involved in fighting for their survival.

International Whale Shark Day – 30th August 2024

International Whale Shark Day is a day devoted to the ocean’s gentle giants.

Celebrated globally, this day sheds light on the conservation of whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. These filter-feeding marvels face threats such as overfishing, tourism and habitat degradation. With populations declining by an estimated 63% in the last 75 years, these fish are at risk of extinction in the wild. As such, it’s vital to use the day to highlight their struggle.


September

Red panda sleeping in a tree

Here are all the wildlife days in September to know:

International Primate Day – 1st September 2024

International Primate Day is a day to turn our focus to the conservation and well-being of non-human primates worldwide – whether they are in the wild, or in captivity in laboratories or zoos.

These intelligent beings share a complex social structure and play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of their habitats. The day is a great chance to raise awareness about the threats and cruelties they face. This includes habitat loss, the illegal wildlife trade, their continued use in animal testing, and use in entertainment industries, such as circuses.

International Vulture Awareness Day – 7th September 2024

Held each year on the 1st Saturday in September, Vulture Awareness Day seeks to raise awareness about the challenges vultures face.

Vultures play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance by scavenging and preventing the spread of diseases. Yet vultures are much misunderstood and maligned. This means as well as the threats that most other bird species face, such as habitat loss, vultures also subject to poisoning. Supporting vulture conservation efforts ensures vultures can continue their vital role in nature.

World Dolphin Day – 12th September 2024

The 12th of September 2023 saw the inaugural International World Dolphin Day, and it’s back again for 2024. The 12th of September is significant as it marks the anniversary of the day when 1428 dolphins were killed in the Faroe Islands in 2021. As the largest single slaughter of cetaceans in recorded history, the day stands as a reminder that dolphins around the world need more protection.

Organised by Stop The Grind, this global coalition of organisations and individuals is working together to end the inhumane and unnecessary killing of dolphins and whales in the Faroe Islands. Here annual dolphin hunts have taken place for hundreds of years.

World Dolphin Day aims to raise awareness and encourage more people to speak out against the slaughters on the Faroe Islands.

International Red Panda Day – 21st September 2024

Held each year on the third Saturday of September, International Red Panda Day is a day committed to the conservation of wild red pandas and their Himalayan habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities. Under threat from habitat loss and poaching, the day raises awareness of red pandas and supports initiatives dedicated to their protection.

World Rhino Day – 22nd September 2024

World Rhino Day is dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges rhinos face – from poaching to habitat loss. But it’s not all doom and gloom! The day also serves as a celebration of the five species of rhino, and the vital work that has been ongoing to eliminate demand for rhino horn across the globe.

World Gorilla Day – 24th September 2024

World Gorilla Day shines a spotlight on gorillas, emphasising conservation and protection. Critically endangered, there are now only 880 Mountain Gorillas left in the wild. Other Gorilla species are also under threat, due to habitat loss.

Spend some time on the day learning more about gorillas, or even adopt a gorilla to help bring these giants back from the brink.

World Cassowary Day – 26th September 2024

World Cassowary Day celebrates these unique flightless birds that play a crucial role in maintaining the biodiversity of rainforests. They’re effective in spreading the seeds of rainforest trees, often able to disperse seeds that are so large that no other animal can swallow and disperse them.

Endangered to habitat loss, road accidents, and dog attacks, the day raises awareness about the threats they face, to help preserve the Cassowary.


October

The endangered animal, the sloth, in a tree.

Here are the species awareness days in October to know so you can help spread the word:

International Raccoon Appreciation Day – 1st October 2024

International Raccoon Appreciation Day is dedicated to highlighting the challenges faced by these clever and adaptable creatures.

Encountering threats to their habitats, such as urban development and habitat loss, they also often face disturbances due to human activities.

This day encourages North Americans to reflect on the importance of coexisting with these resourceful animals, whilst fostering a deeper understanding of raccoons.

World Day For Farmed Animals – 2nd October 2024

Farm animals aren’t forgotten about in this line-up of animal days. The 2nd of October marks the annual World Day For Farmed Animals. It’s no coincidence that the date chosen is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, a person who advocated for the rights of all animals.

. This global event is dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of farmed animals. It educates the public on their conditions and commemorates those who have suffered.

With an estimated 56 billion animals trapped in cruel industrial farming systems – the day works to spread knowledge about this suffering. The day also promotes awareness about factory farming’s impact on the earth’s climate. 

World Animal Day – 4th October 2024

World Animal Day is a day that aims to raise the status of animals to improve welfare standards around the globe.

To achieve this, animal welfare organisations, community groups, youth and children’s clubs, businesses and individuals are encouraged to organise events in celebration of World Animal Day. By uniting the animal welfare movement like this, the day aims to mobilise people for action now for a better future for animals.

National Badger Day – 6th October 2024

National Badger Day is a key day in the animal awareness calendar that celebrates this iconic native British wildlife species. 

The largest of Britain’s remaining carnivores, badgers play in key role in the health of our ecosystems, by maintaining and regenerating the health of our soil. Badgers also help to disperse seeds. Plus badgers create new habitats for other creatures, whilst their setts provide a haven for other wildlife.

Despite, this badgers are persecuted through culls. Conveniently, the celebration falls during the intensive badger culling period in England and acts as a key reminder for us to call on the UK Government to end the badger cull.

World Octopus Day – 8th October 2024

World Octopus Day is an annual celebration that invites us to delve into the mysterious world of octopuses. 

Like many marine creatures, these incredible cephalopods face challenges. Threats include habitat depletion, overfishing, and climate change affecting their underwater realms.

This day invites us to marvel at the intelligence and uniqueness of these creatures, whilst acknowledging the significance of octopuses in marine ecosystems. It’s also a chance to shine a spotlight on the organisations dedicated to preserving their habitats.

International Sawfish Day – 17th October 2024

The 17th of October sees the commemoration of International Sawfish Day.

Much like the challenges faced by other marine species, the Sawfish is under threat in its underwater habitats. Habitat degradation, overfishing, and climate change jeopardise their existence. As such, the Sawfish is considered one of the most endangered groups of fish.

The day encourages a moment of reflection on the unique and vital role sawfish play in marine ecosystems, as well as the challenges they face, so that we can all call for greater ocean protection.

International Sloth Day – 20th October 2024

Each year on 20th October, we’re collectively invited to slow down to and celebrate International Sloth Day.

The day is dedicated to learning about these arboreal animals. By raising awareness about the problems they are facing, such as deforestation and habitat loss, together we can help wild sloths not only survive but thrive.

As well as raising awareness of sloths, you can adopt a sloth, sponsor a sloth crossing to help create a safe passage for sloths and other arboreal wildlife as they move from tree to tree and sponsor the planting of sloth-friendly trees.

Reptile Awareness Day – 21st October 2024

Reptile Awareness Day is a day dedicated to appreciating and understanding all things reptilian.

Held annually, it shines a spotlight on the diversity and importance of reptiles in ecosystems worldwide. From slithering snakes to basking lizards, reptiles play vital roles in maintaining ecological balance. However, they face threats like habitat loss and persecution.

This day encourages us to dispel myths and foster awareness of reptiles, promoting coexistence with these remarkable animals, whilst supporting global conservation efforts.

International Wombat Day – 22nd October 2024

International Wombat Day pays homage to these endearing marsupials that waddle through Australian landscapes.

Wombats play crucial roles in ecosystems, cultivating soil and maintaining biodiversity. However, they face threats such as habitat destruction, and predation by wild dogs, and are commonly killed in road accidents.

International Wombat Day invites us to appreciate these furry creatures and raises awareness about their conservation needs.

World Snow Leopard Day – 23rd October 2024

World Snow Leopard Day is a day to come together and celebrate this endangered cat, whilst raising awareness for its conservation and protection.

Under threat due to habitat loss, declining prey, and poaching, the day invites us to learn more about this stunning feline, and the threats they face, so that we can call for greater protection.

Freshwater Dolphin Day – 24th October 2024

Freshwater Dolphin Day celebrates the unique species of dolphins found in rivers and deltas in Asia and South America. 

Under heavy threat by humans, the Yangtze River Dolphin, for example, hasn’t been seen since 2004. It is now believed to be extinct, due to heavy industrial use of their river in China. This is thought to be the first case of a dolphin species driven to extinction by humans.

Celebrating Freshwater Dolphin Day encourages us to learn more about these dolphins and the threats they face so that we join forces to protect all cetacean species from these major threats.

International Gibbon Day – 24th October 2024

The 24th of October marks International Gibbon Day, an international celebration of these small apes.

Gibbons are amongst the rarest of the primates. However, their conservation status is often overshadowed by the news of the decline of larger apes, such as gorillas and orangutans. Yet with all 19 recognised species of gibbon in danger of extinction, it’s clear we need to turn our attention to the diminutive gibbon.

Use the day to spread awareness, and you can help secure the future of the gibbon.

World Lemur Day – 25th October 2024

World Lemur Day – held each year on the last Friday of October – is a day to celebrate lemurs and spread the word about their conservation.

With 98% of lemur species threatened with extinction, the day seeks to inspire others to love lemurs and help save them from extinction.

Find virtual and in-person events around the world, teaching resources, social media resources and more to help spread the word about the important need for lemur conservation.


November

Bison standing in an open field surrounded by trees

Make space for wildlife in November with the following animal awareness days:

National Bison Day – 2nd November 2024

We all know the difference between a buffalo and a bison – you can’t wash your hands in a buffalo! But did you know that the first Saturday in November is National Bison Day? Yes, this animal awareness day celebrates the significance of the American bison and the work that has gone into celebrating the restoration of bison populations in North America. Once on the brink of collapse, thanks to collective action its population has risen from 500 in the 19th century to more than 15,000 today.

World Basking Shark Day – 3rd November 2024

Founded by Basking Shark Scotland, World Basking Shark Day aims to raise the profile of this endangered shark by sharing information, photos, videos and stories.

Classed as endangered after a period of intensive hunting in the last century, the world’s second-largest fish is struggling to recover its population. The UK and Ireland are home to some of the world’s largest basking shark aggregations, but the species isn’t a well-known one. As such, the day seeks to raise awareness and educate more people about basking sharks, celebrate them and ensure their protection for the future.

International Jaguar Day – 29th November 2024

Celebrated each year on the 29th of November, International Jaguar Day works to highlight the increasing threats facing the jaguar.

With an extinction status of ‘near threatened’, jaguars are under threat due to many factors. This includes deforestation, the construction of dams, farmers hunting jaguars to protect their livestock, and illegal poachers targeting Jaguars for the traditional Asian medicine trade.

Internation Jaguar Day is a great time to spread awareness about the jaguar, and the issues they face, to help conserve this key species.


December

Here are all the wildlife days in December to know:

International Cheetah Day – 4th December 2024

International Cheetah Day is a global day dedicated to the plight of the cheetah. So far, we’ve lost 90% of all cheetahs in the last 100 years alone, due to habitat loss, the illegal pet trade and human-wildlife conflicts. There are now fewer than 7500 cheetahs left in the wild, and it’s classed as Africa’s most endangered big cat.

You can help by taking part in International Cheetah Day. Here you can learn more about these fascinating big cats, and help to spread the word about the threats to their survival.

World Wildlife Conservation Day – 4th December 2024

The 4th of December has been recognised as World Wildlife Conservation Day since 2012. Created by Hillary Clinton – then US Secretary of State – the day aims to raise awareness of issues facing wildlife. This includes issues such as extinction, endangerment, global wildlife trafficking and poaching.

There are many things you can do on World Wildlife Conservation Day. The charity International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals (IAPWA) suggests signing petitions that help support wildlife, boycotting the purchase of animal products, and trying a plant-based diet.

World Monkey Day – 14th December 2024

Small monkey perched on the end of a tree branch

World Monkey Day is an unofficial international animal awareness day celebrated annually on the 14th of December. Celebrating all monkeys, the day also encompasses non-human primates such as apes, lemurs, and tarsiers.

Around 70% of Asian primates are classed as endangered – primarily due to forest destruction, poaching and hunting. Meanwhile, 50% of African species and 40% of neo-tropical species are classed as endangered too. So while World Monkey Day may be unofficial, it’s a good time to raise awareness of the plight of the primates.

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