The Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) program received a flurry of publicity last week thanks to various news stories about it, and I just wanted to add to the linkage. It’s implemented by the Zoological Society of London and, in their words:
The EDGE of Existence programme aims to conserve the world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species by implementing the research and conservation actions needed to secure their future.
ZSL researchers will work closely with scientists from countries in which EDGE species occur. The programme also aims to train students from developing countries to monitor and protect threatened species.
On the website, you can find a list of 100 species which are on the verge of extinction and frankly, it’s an upsetting read. I genuinely just feel shit when reading stuff like this. It’s depressing that we (humans) can be so stupid. I mean, every case is a travesty, but it’s the ones which you see are being driven to extinction because of hunting etc which really make you question whether a worldwide plague of bird flu would be such a bad thing.. Humans are shit.
There’s a definite risk of me being hypocritical with this post.. Seeing as I probably don’t contribute to the cause as much as I could but does that really matter(?) Blah.. I’ll save that discussion for another day. Like I said up top, I just wanted to lend a link to this project. Go and read up about these astounding animals and do whatever you can to help.. even if it’s just spreading the word..
If they are lost there is nothing similar to them left on the planet. It would be a bit like the art world losing the Mona Lisa – they are simply irreplaceable.
I’ll leave you with the Bactrian Camel.
There are less than 1000 of these superb animals living in the wild. The area of the Gobi Desert in North China that they call home has been used for half a century as a nuclear testing site and yet they’ve still managed to survive.. They’ve even adapted to be able to drink salt water (making the Bactrian unique among the mammal world) and yet still their numbers are in decline. They’ve done all they can to adjust to humans taking away their habitat and it’s about time we made allowances for them. Goto http://www.wildcamels.com to read more..