Why Endangered Species Need Conservation Champions

June 18, 2013 5:30 pm0 commentsViews: 42

See on Scoop.it – Environment

Without heroic conservationists many of today’s most beloved species would be extinct: think of pandas, tigers, and elephants. By single-mindly focused on saving a particular species, these conservation champions bring much-needed research, publicity, and, most importantly, targeted actions to keep an imperilled animal from the brink. Through their own exuberance, these heroes also gather others to their cause. But, many of the world’s heroic conservationists are little-known to the broader public. To address this a new book, Wildlife Heroes: 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They Are Committed to Saving, strives to introduce the public to some of the world’s most devoted conservationists.

Why endangered species need conservation champions

Jaguar coming up for air in the Brazilian Pantanal. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

“It tells the story of forty professional wildlife conservationists who have devoted their lives to saving an individual species or addressing a broader threat to wildlife such as climate change or unexplained pollinator declines,” co-author and the North American Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Jeff Flocken told mongabay.com in a recent interview. “[Co-author Julie Scardina] and I are giving 100% of our profits from the book to the conservationists we feature in it, and I’m happy to say it has been a success: Wildlife Heroes is currently on its’ third printing since it came out in May 2012, and it has won two awards.”

However, the extinction crisis has gone well-beyond the big, charismatic species. Today, the IUCN Red List categorizes over 20,000 species as threatened with extinction, the majority of which do not have a conservation hero. More alarming still, the IUCN Red List has only evaluated about 4 percent of the world’s known species.

“Unfortunately, the less charismatic species tend to lack heroes with conservation strategies. It seems like many animals at this point have people studying them, but finding true conservation heroes for the less charismatic species can be tough. For example, I would have loved to have done a chapter on saving paddlefish or freshwater mussels, but we weren’t able to find a hero that met our criteria. […] Hopefully newly graduated scientists, economists, lawyers etc will start to spread-out a little more and work on some of the lesser known species that need help,” says Flocken……

See on focusingonwildlife.com

DestinationFeed‘s insight:

In order for planet earth to have balance, animals has a crucial role to play. Be informed.


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