Sunday, 25 November 2012

Are these animals too 'ugly' to be saved?

People are used to being asked to help save photogenic pandas, but are there animals whose strange appearance hinders conservation?

Creatures that achieve world fame for being under threat - the panda, the mountain gorilla, the tiger - tend to be conventionally aesthetically pleasing, even cute.

But the scientists who study the planet's rarest beasts say that many of the most precious and threatened creatures have physical characteristics that, although perhaps not adorable in the most orthodox sense, make them truly unique.

A project run by the Zoological Society for London (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) is trying to raise awareness of these less appreciated creatures.

"I love all the species on the Edge list," says Carly Waterman, director of Edge.

"But I think some do need a little extra help to get them a place in hearts of the general public."

Here are a few of the less doe-eyed and fluffy and more spiky, scaly, big-nosed and slimy animals that might be conservation icons.


Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20323753

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