SunSpecial: Day In, Day Out   Leave a comment

This weekend (February 27) is noted as International Polar Bear Day. Last week, World Pangolin Day fell on February 20. In March we have World Frog Day; International Day of the Seal; and, perhaps because they are an unusual and not well known animal, five days are dedicated as National Aardvark Week. Within every month of the year; and throughout virtually every week of each month; there is a holiday, commemoration, celebration, or remembrance of some species, animal, wildlife, or similar collection ranging from Don’t step on a Bee Day (July 9); to Sea Serpent Day in August; not to be confused with later that same month, International Whale Shark Day (which, despite both being relatively unknown deep-ocean dwellers, are not the same animal and ‘sea serpent’ is probably a mis-identification of other ocean life). For any wildlife overlooked in other weeks March 3 is World Wildlife Day; but that is not the same as Endangered Species Day of May 20.

And all these days are important. Not, perhaps, for the individual species or group that is indicated by that day; but for our, as humans, overall remembrance of the non-human species surrounding us and with whom we share the world. Because in our everyday lives of rushing here and there, too busy to reach our next goal that we overlook where we’re at; and through (or in spite of) always-connected linked-in multi-tasking in which we get so much done, yet none of it is ever complete; we, as humans, need these pre-defined days of wildlife recognition to remember, if only for a day, there are other lives on the earth. Even if that recognition consists of a few seconds of morning news coverage, or an online update, or a pretty photo on a calendar before we resume our flurry and fluster, hustling here and there not unlike rats in a maze. Which, by the way, are recognized on April 5 as World Rat Day.

A warming climate, and melting ice, means Polar Bears can't rest and raise their young

A warming climate, and melting ice, means Polar Bears can’t rest and raise their young

The Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) is experiencing unprecedented habitat loss due to climate change and could be extinct in the wild within the next 30 years. Pangolin (family Manidae) are daily trapped and poached by the thousands, served as meals at exclusive (and illegal) restaurants and could be gone, as an entire animal group, before many people know they exist. Every type Frog is an indicator species of overall ecosystem health and well being; the loss of frogs and other amphibians, it’s been shown numerous times, is the warning of impending environmental collapse. Without Bees much of the worlds agricultural crops would decline and crash, resulting in billions of dollars in economic loss and food shortages.

Yet, we need a specified day to remember ‘not to step on bees’? For entire wildlife populations that suffer challenges daily, one day a year is enough for us to ‘celebrate’ them? Perhaps, in our faster-and-more-complicated world, a ‘day’ of our attention is all these species can fare; and in that brief moment, hopefully, we are connected to the surrounding world bigger than our own daily concerns. But if we should allow these connections to dim with each check of the calendar, here one day only to be replaced the next with another ‘species of awareness’, the personal, cultural, and entirety of loss to us could be as great as the extinction of any singularly unique wild species.


Michonne Says: I keep waiting for marmot day but it never seems to come. I don’t know what would happen but a special day sounds nice. Maybe we would get treats or something. On Groundhoggy day men annoy the groundhoggies all day and that’s not good so maybe it’s better not to have a day at all, if that’s what it turns out to be.

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