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Which EDGE species will you save ?

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 17 Sep 2020.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    This is a bit of a thought experiment that I thought might be interesting to post here on zoochat to see everyones answers.

    So here is the scenario:

    Through some miraculous stroke of good fortune you become a multi-millionaire and may contribute a considerable amount of money to efforts to conserve just one of the species on the EDGE species list.

    It can be an animal of whichever class you wish (mammal, bird, reptiles, amphibian, shark / ray or coral) but it can only be one and it has to be a species that is currently listed on the website.

    Which EDGE species will you contribute your money to help conserving ?

    You must choose one species, however, you can mention three other "runners-up" species that also interest you in your comment.

    Please also give the rationale / reasons for your choice.

    I look forward to reading your replies.
     
  2. Jungle Man

    Jungle Man Well-Known Member

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    I'll choose this species to save because it is from Panama, there are almost no conservation projects in place and is a super beautiful species: Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth

    The main reasons why I want to save the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth are:

    1. They are native to Panama and I feel that helping a species from Panama is right. Also, many things are yet-to-be known in this species so letting a species go extinct without researching completely about it, is not fair.

    2. Sloths are beautiful animals and I would not let a species of them go extinct. Also, with this new species, we have 3 sloth species in Panama, having a great Xenarthra diversity here.

    My runner-ups are: Shoebill, Pygmy Hippo and Philippine Eagle or Ganges River Dolphin. I can't decide. I chose these runner ups because they're charismatic species and I really like them.
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your comment @Jungle Man and an excellent choice !

    I kind of guessed that this would be your EDGE species choice as it is 100% Panamanian.

    I love this species of sloth too and I am following the news of its conservation quite closely

    Perhaps you could one day help with its conservation in the wild ? Don't you think this would be a great thing to do? ;)
     
    Last edited: 18 Sep 2020
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  4. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    In this scenario my own choice of an EDGE species would have to be either the Hispaniolan or Cuban solenodon for the following reasons :

    1. They are a "living fossil" in evolutionary terms having survived 76 million years relatively unchanged (IMO all the more reason to give them a fighting chance to survive the anthropocene) and are utterly fascinating.

    2. It is a total enigma and we know so little about the ecology of these species in the wild compared to the wealth of knowledge we possess about most other mammals. The potential in terms of conducting novel ecological research on this species is really quite endless.

    3. I've followed the efforts by ZSL to conserve this species for many years now and feel quite emotionally invested in seeing these animals and their habitat properly conserved.

    4. I do not believe the solenodon will never be subject to the same sustained conservation efforts as a species such as the Giant panda, mountain gorilla, white rhino, Sumatran tiger etc. I feel that by backing the conservation of this species I would be doing my bit to combat this bias in conservation towards megafauna and being true to my core values.

    5. I just like their rather terrifying / grungy / punky look. There would be something immensely existentially / aesthetically satisfying about contributing money to help conserve a species that most people would label as an "ugly giant rat" due to it not meeting the bulls*** "cuddly" / "fluffy" metric. I suppose I feel it would be a constructive means of giving a symbolic middle finger to this paradigm and in a wider sense our current society.

    6. The venomous ability of this animal. There is something extraordinarily appealing for me about a venomous mammal whose bite can cause seizures / convulsions, respiratory failure, necrotic skin wounds, paralysis and cardiac arrests in a human being.

    Some close runners-up would be the mountain tapir, pygmy three-toed sloth and Javan slow loris. Based on the criteria that the conservation status of these species is endangered, there is an imminent threat of extinction and the conservation attention status is "low" or "very low". Particularly in the case of the Javan slow loris it would be because it is a prosimian primate which fascinate me , critically endangered and venomous.
     
    Last edited: 18 Sep 2020
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  5. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    Ouch! Just one... I had a hard enough time just looking at the bird list, so if it really happened my decision might be different, particularly if there was information on exactly how the money would make the difference. Tempted by Tooth-billed Pigeon, simply ignored and this doomed! Very tempted by Plains Wanderer, one of my top targets, and one where useful conservation would benefit so many other species. In the end, I plump for a species I have seen, where specific measures are likely to have significant results, Helmeted Hornbill.
     
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean. Just looking at the list is dizzying with all of these fascinating species which urgently require conservation interventions and research. :confused:

    The "little dodo" is very interesting indeed. Incidentally I listened to a podcast about this bird a while back which was an interview with a conservationist working with this species in Samoa, you might find it interesting.

    Rebecca Stirnemann - The Last Little Dodos by Escape The Zoo • A podcast on Anchor

    Interesting point with what you mention on the potential of the plains wanderer as an umbrella species for wider habitat / ecosystem conservation of the Australian grasslands.

    So, helmeted hornbill it is then :) An interesting choice of species for sure and I like that you have figured pragmatic / strategic conservation concerns into your decision.

    I've seen a lot of hornbill species but I actually haven't seen this species in captivity, did you see this bird in the wild or captivity ?
     
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  7. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    There are 8 species of Hornbill in Borneo, and as I headed towards the last couple of days of a two week trip I had seen 7 of them. Then a Helmeted Hornbill started calling, and about 10 minutes later, there we were looking over a clearing at it perched and reaching the climax of the call. A very special moment!
     
  8. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Once again @Tetzoo Quizzer I'm very impressed with your luck in seeing so many species in such relatively short periods of time and in the wild !

    No wonder this species was your choice in this thread as this sounds like an incredible moment to have experienced and with even more poignant significance considering the pressures on this species in the wild and the looming threat of its extinction.

    I don't actually know of any zoos which keep this species. I thought that Jersey zoo may have one but I've just had a look on their website and it appears that the species they keep is actually a wrinkled hornbill (I'm sure you have seen this species in the wild as it is Bornean) so I thought wrong.
     
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  9. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    You are aware that Pygmy Three-toed Sloth are not actually a species, but a dwarf form of the mainland species, when taking into account genetics?
     
  10. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    If he is unaware of this it perhaps it is because he is still secondary school (and even at such a young age he is making more contributions to raising popular awareness of conservation than most academics ;))and they haven't yet covered conservation genetics in the curriculum :rolleyes: (were you studying insular dwarfism in science lessons at school when 12 years old ? If so you must have had a stellar education and have been a child prodigy a la Alexander Von Humboldt :p).

    It maybe a form rather than a full species but it is a critically endangered form and is on the EDGE-species list hence why he chose it.

    Why not take it easy on him ? o_O
     
    Last edited: 18 Sep 2020
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Saw this and thought I'd share

     
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