Female lions in the forest surrounding Lake Nakuru, Kenya
© Scott Davis/Tandem Stills + Motio
Climb a tree for wild animals and plants
Today is World Wildlife Day, the annual United Nations celebration of the incredible diversity of our planet's wild animals and plants. The theme of this year's WWD is 'Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.' Through a series of virtual events, and a panel at UN headquarters, UN representatives and partner wildlife groups will examine the links between the state of our planet's forests and woodlands and efforts to preserve the millions of livelihoods that directly depend on them. A particular emphasis will be placed on the role of Indigenous peoples who still live and work in forested areas, how they've successfully managed their forest ecosystems for centuries, and what that can teach us about sustainability.
The pair of tree-climbing lions you see here in Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya are among the many forest animals whose very existence is threatened by the encroachment of people into their habitats. While lions themselves are not yet considered endangered, they are listed as 'vulnerable,' and many conservationists fear that only sanctuaries like this one surrounding Lake Nakuru are keeping the lion population from becoming completely unsustainable.