July 14th is World Orca Day, World Chimpanzee Day and Shark Awareness Day!

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

July 14th is World Orca Day, World Chimpanzee Day and Shark Awareness Day!



July 14th – Happy World Orca Day! What makes Orcas so special they’re worth celebrating? in other words, why do Orcas matter to us? As the top predator in the ocean, these iconic animals are not only truly fascinating, but they’re also known as a ‘keystone’ species. This, among other things, means that they play a vital role in marine ecosystems.

And, orcas are also known as an ‘indicator’ species. That’s a species that can tell us a lot about the health and well-being of an ecosystem. Last but not least, orcas are considered an ‘umbrella species.’ That means if we can protect them, then all the species and habitats that are part of their lives may also be protected. Which in turn means if we do things right to protect orcas properly those actions will also act as a layer of protection for the environment and the animals that live within it.

World Orca Day was first celebrated on July 14, 2014. While marking the day, here are some fascinating orca facts: Orcas—aka “killer whales” — are not actually whales, despite their gargantuan size. They’re actually dolphins. It’s theorized that the misnomer was originated by sailors who saw orcas’ ferocious hunting of large marine animals and dubbed them “whale killers.” Then, the term somehow got flipped around over time.

Research conducted by Andrew Foote, a killer whale genetics expert, found that orcas and humans share an ability for culture-based evolution. Before this discovery, humans were the only known animals to evolve based on cultureAlso, Orca clans speak different languages,

Orcas have no sense of smell. And, Orcas go through menopause—no clue how scientists know this. Check out worldorcaday.org for more fun information, or click on the link in the Deeper Dive Section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes for more. 

DEEPER DIVE: World Orca Day, TreeHugger, Wikipedia



Not to be outdone, the world’s chimps met recently at the site of the old Statue of Liberty and voted today be World Chimpanzee Day. I’m kidding. But no matter how you slice the banana, July 14, 1960 is the day Dr. Jane Goodall first stepped foot in what is now Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, to study wild chimpanzees. That’s why WCD falls on July 14th. Since then Dr. Goodall has called attention to the remarkable chimpanzee and to this day advocates on their behalf. With each of us making a difference, we can ensure a future for chimpanzees in the wild and in captivity.

Based upon information gleaned from a YouTube video where Dr. Jane Goodall speaks on the fourth WCD, the world gave chimpanzees their day first back in 2019! Chimpanzees are highly endangered. One hundred years ago, there were an estimated 1-2 million chimpanzees across twenty-five countries in Africa. Today, there are as few as 350,000 wild (high estimate) chimpanzees across the continent of Africa.

And why do chimpanzees matter to us? Thanks to Dr. Goodall, we know that chimpanzees make and use tools, have a complex communication system and social structures, and can be altruistic. The more we learn, the more we realize how important it is that we celebrate our connection to these complex and intelligent beings.Together, by providing holistic solutions to end habitat loss, illegal wildlife crime, and disease transmission, we can give chimpanzees a fighting chance.




Guess what? It’s three-fer Thursday, because today is also Shark Awareness Day! Sharks are one of the oldest species on the planet, with fossil records showing they were cruising our oceans at least 420 million years ago. Modern-day sharks have been around for about 100 million years – even that’s back when the dinosaurs existed!

Nowadays there are over 500 species of shark, ranging from the tiny dwarf lantern shark, able to fit into the palm of your hand, to the gigantic whale shark, which can clock in at up to 10 meters. Like top predators in any ecosystem, sharks play an essential role in keeping the seas healthy and productive – yet various threats make these ocean oligarchs a persecuted and vulnerable species. While no one’s suggesting we go out and hug a great white on Shark Awareness Day, it’s the least we can do to respect these wonderful creatures and help protect them.

Here are a few ways to honor sharks today. Boycott Shark Products: Sharks are hunted for their meat, skin, and fins. Many places in the world offer special fin soups or products made out of shark leather. Boycott such places and encourage others to do so, too.

Also, Educate others: Spread awareness about this day by talking about it with others. Pop culture has done enough damage to sharks’ image. Now it’s time for you to join the force to undo the damage by spreading positivity about the fish.

And, Donate to organizations; Shark and environmental protection organizations need your help more than ever. They require funds and promotion, and you can help with that by donating and spreading the word. BTW, no indication when Shark Awareness day started.

DEEPER DIVE: Shark Trust, DaysOfTheYear