Nature Ramble

This week we are looking at ‘ugly’.

Not so much ugly as unbecoming creatures, but creatures that never-the-less are endangered.

Are these animals too ‘ugly’ to be saved?

Clockwise from top left: Sunda pangolin, Chinese giant salamander, Mallorcan midwife toad, long-beaked echidna and Ganges river dolphin

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.

Click on the BBC icon and you can read facts about each of these strange creatures.

Read more

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2 responses to this post.

  1. While these animals may not be as attractive as say the panda you mention, I think the key to getting support for saving them is in getting the word out about their place in the ecosystem.

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