The Zoological Society of London has today launched a new programme to draw attention to the bizarre, unusual and endangered.
The EDGE programme - Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered - focuses on animals which are highly unique and at significant risk of extinction, and aims to develop and implement conservation measures to protect them. High risk species already identified include the Yangtze River dolphin, the Bactrian camel, and the Bumblebee bat, the world's smallest mammal. The EDGE team will work with local scientists to identify the status of the little understood species.
Dr Jonathan Baillie, the Zoological Society of London's scientist who is leading the project, hailed the EDGE scheme as the first of a kind:
"This is the first global-scale programme specifically developed to focus on these one-of-a-kind and highly threatened animals. We will be working to protect some of the world's most extraordinary species."
For more information, visit http://www.edgeofexistence.org/home.asp
This article first appeared in the Ecologist December 2008