Since its inception in 2013, World Wildlife Day has quickly become one of the most important dates on the environmental calendar. Backed by the UN, the initiative aims to celebrate and raise awareness for the globe’s wild fauna and flora. So to help you celebrate (and journey vicariously into the wilds of Africa or the jungles of Indonesia), we've compiled a jaw-dropping collection of images selected from the finalists of Agora’s Best Photos of Nature competition.

'Penguin' in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: @curtjam

The images – selected from a pool of 11,000 entries submitted via free-to-use photo sharing app, Agora – are a visual reminder that "only one species living on Earth can choose what the future will look like and that species is us. Our beautiful planet is in danger, and it's up to us to save it." It's a fitting message for this year's World Wildlife Day theme: "Sustaining all life on Earth."

"Historically, we have depended on the constant interplay and interlinkages between all elements of the biosphere for all our needs: the air we breathe, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the materials we need for all purposes," the World Wildlife Day website explains. "However, unsustainable human activities and overexploitation of the species and natural resources that make up the habitats and ecosystems of all wildlife are imperilling the world’s biodiversity."

From an endangered tiger in India framed perfectly in its natural habitat, to vultures soaring above mountains in the south of France, these photos showcase – in stunning detail – the planet's incredible biodiversity. And in so doing, they remind us why we need to protect it.

'Follow the tracks,' a fox in Rausu, Japan. Photo: @heisen22
'Miracle', South Africa. Photo: @reiko.t
'Natural inhabitant', France. Photo: @seplb
'Yellow', Indonesia. Photo: @achmadkamal92
'The grass snake sneaking through autumn leaves', Poland. Photo: @maciejj
'The land of sunsets', Kenya. Photo: @someguybehindthecamera
'T I G E R', India. Photo: @mits4772
'Stake Out', Indonesia. Photo: @yensentan
'New Born', Indonesia. Photo: @hendymp
'The rain singer', Indonesia. Photo: @dennyandhika
'Big birds', France. Photo: @nikopictures
'The leader', New Zealand. Photo: @phamhuytrung
'Night of butterfly', Indonesia. Photo: @achmaddehapegrafi
'Let's Fly Together', Myanmar. Photo: @myatzawhein
'Strike', Indonesia. Photo: @georock888