The world is full of weird, and yet wonderful creatures, many of which we wouldn’t know about if it wasn’t for the work carried out by The Edge (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered), a conservation programme launched by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to research and world’s most unusual creatures.
Environmental Graffiti has reported on some of the bizarre creatures The Edge studies, and their progress through the world, including the Baiji river dolphin and the Long-eared jerboa.
The scheme targets animals with unique evolutionary histories that are facing a real risk of extinction, already the Baiji dolphin is classified as functionally extinct – not the title which holds the most promise of a reprise.
The ZSL says many of these species are ignored by existing conservation plans, and this is maybe because they are so unique, they fall between the cracks. The Society defines Edge animals as having few close relatives, genetically distinct, and require immediate action to save them from extinction. These are exactly the type of creatures we should be focusing on, in order to understand evolution and ecology.