A look at the conservation challenges facing the world's lesser-known wildlife
The EDGE of Existence programme highlights and protects some of the most unique species on the planet, which are on the verge of extinction. The programme gets its name from the traits that qualify these weird and wonderful species for inclusion on the EDGE list: each must be Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered. Representing a unique and irreplaceable part of our world’s biodiversity, many EDGE species have been overlooked by conservationists – until now.
The plight of so-called “charismatic megafauna” like the lion, elephant, orangutan and giant panda is often headline news – and rightly so – but in this blog, we’ve chosen to feature a quintet of lesser-known creatures from the EDGE list, the members of which are in many cases in even more dire straits than the picturebook animals we’ve known and loved since childhood. Read on to find out about a “four-eyed” antelope, a river-dwelling dolphin, a headbanging bird, a tortoise with stars on its shell and a fish that electrocutes its prey, with further information on how to see these unusual animals in the wild for yourself.