Friday marks World Wildlife Day, a time to celebrate and raise awareness about plants and animals around the world. These facts, quotes and pictures below show how to get involved and honor the world’s biodiversity.

  1. The official day was created only four years ago. The United Nations General Assembly designated March 3 as World Wildlife Day in 2013. The day was chosen to mark the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, a group that now has 183 member states who aim to ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of species.
  2. This year’s theme is “Listen to the Young Voices.” World Wildlife Day in 2017 is centered on encouraging young people around the world to get involved with threats to wildlife, including habitat loss, exploitation and illegal trafficking. Because one-quarter of the world’s population is between 10 and 23 years old, it’s imperative that the group get involved in conservation, according to CITES.
  3. There are five official hashtags. World Wildlife Day encourages involvement through social media by using one of its five hashtags: #DoOneThingToday, #youth4wildlife, #YoungVoices, #WorldWildlifeDay and #EndWildlifeTrafficking.
  4. Even the lowest estimates for species extinction are staggering. It’s unclear how many species the Earth loses every year because it’s unclear just how many there were to begin with. However, if Earth is home to 100,000,000 species and the extinction rate is just .01 percent each year, that means 10,000 species go extinct every single year, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
  5. A significant portion of each animal group is already threatened. Thirty-three percent of corals, 25 percent of mammals, 13 percent of birds and 41 percent of amphibians are threatened, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you." Frank Lloyd Wright

"The hope of the future lies not in curbing the influence of human occupancy -- it is already too late for that -- but in creating a better understanding of the extent of that influence and a new ethic for its governance." Aldo Leopold

"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction." Rachel Carson

"We need to understand ourselves as biological creatures at one with the diverse of all life. When we can truly see this unity and interdependence, we will find nature to be forgiving, generous and resilient." Kenny Ausubel

"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."  Albert Einstein 

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority." Elwin Brooks White 

"It is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it." Wendell Berry

GettyImages-79355588 A giraffe licks its nose in the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga, South Africa, Dec. 7, 2007. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-74005381 Brown bear cubs play with their mother at a wildlife park in Poing, Germany, Apr. 27, 2007. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-72474555 A baby orangutan sits on the back of its mother at the Tanjung Puting National Park in Borneo, Indonesia, Sept. 1, 2001. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-51998444 A school of manini fish pass over a coral reef in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jan. 15, 2005. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-138058528 A Hawksbill sea turtle is seen swimming near Lady Elliot Island, Australia, Jan. 15, 2015. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-142933329 A mountain lion cub paws at a butterfly in Beijing, China, Apr. 15, 2012. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-479029430 A giant panda eats bamboo at a research base in Ya'an, China, Jun. 29, 2015. Photo: Getty Images

GettyImages-81956713 A pool of dolphins feed off Long Beach, California, Jul. 16, 2008. Photo: Getty Images