Earth Day 2023
Learn how to help endangered species
Minecraft’s Overworld is welcoming its first extinct mob back to life with the Trails & Tales update, where you’ll have the chance to reintroduce the adorable sniffer to your biomes and marvel as it uses its powerful, blocky nose to hunt for ancient seeds. For the real world, and the planet we all share, it’s a lot harder to bring extinct species back to life – so hard, in fact, that we as humans have only successfully brought back one creature – the Pyrenean ibex – from extinction.*
This Earth Day, we wanted to take a moment to think about all the creatures that we share this world with, and what we can do to protect them and their habitats, both now and in the future. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s estimates that 42,100 species are currently threatened. Unless we find ways to protect endangered species and safeguard their natural environments, we’re going to lose them – and the biodiversity they create.
The first step we can take to helping protect these animals is learning more about them, their homes, and why their future is being threatened. In Nature Snap from Razzleberries, you’ll be able to explore three incredible habitats, meet the species that live there, and learn what humans can do in the real-world to help protect their environments. With multiplayer for up to 3 players, you’ll get to travel to some of the world’s most diverse animal habitats without ever leaving your chair.
Venture into the Chihuahuan Desert to meet the endangered Coahulian Box Turtle, who spends roughly 90% of its time in water, or the vulnerable Collared Peccari, who rivals baby Minecraft pigs in terms of its cuteness. Journey to the Kenyan grasslands to try and catch a glimpse of the largest land mammal: the critically endangered African Elephant, who only sleeps for an average of two hours every day (don’t tell any phantoms!). And deep in the Mayan forest, you might be lucky enough to stumble upon the endangered Yucatán Black Howler, a monkey that spends up to a quarter of its day eating (something I can relate to).
But this isn’t an article about my snack preferences: it’s about what we can all do this Earth Day to help. Even one person can make a positive impact: whether you spend Earth Day enthusing your friends and family about what you’ve learned, signing a petition, visiting a wildlife reserve, planting native flowers in your garden, or choosing to shop sustainably by choosing organic or recycled products (even Minecraft ones!).
There are dozens of things, big and small, that you can do to help.
To learn more about how restoring habitats can encourage wildlife to return, check out Rooted Together: where you’ll work to re-populate a mangrove forest. You can also venture to the ice-covered portions of our planet in the Frozen Planet II DLC, created in partnership with BBC Earth, to meet the species that thrive under extreme conditions, and understand how their existence is being threatened by global warming.
However you plan to spend your Earth Day this year, let’s give a thought to creatures like the adorably striped Corroboree Frog or the majestic Amur Leopard. These animals can’t be resurrected with code, and will only survive if they are protected by people who are passionate about our beautiful planet, and everything that lives here.
- Sophie Austin