Charismatic megafauna

Charismatic megafauna are large animal species with symbolic value, widespread popular appeal, and are often used by environmental activists to achieve environmentalist goals.[1] Examples include the humpback whale, giant panda, bald eagle, California condor, harp seal, and penguin.[2][3] Paradoxically, numerous charismatic species are endangered by hunting and black market commerce.[4]

Elephant (Loxodonta africana) (6035902212)
An elephant (Loxodonta africana), an example of a charismatic large animal species.

Use in conservation

Charismatic species are often used as flagship species in conservation programs, as they are supposed to attract people's feelings more.[1] However, being charismatic does not protect species against extinction: all of the 10 most charismatic species are currently endangered, and only the giant panda shows a demographic growth from an extremely small population.[4]

Beginning early in the 20th century, efforts to reintroduce extirpated charismatic megafauna to ecosystems have been an interest of a number of private and non-government conservation organizations.[5] Species have been reintroduced from captive breeding programs in zoos, such as the European bison to Poland's Białowieża Forest.[6] These and other reintroductions of charismatic megafauna, such as Przewalski's horse to Mongolia, have been to areas of limited, and often patchy range compared to the historic ranges of the respective species.[7]

Environmental activists and proponents of ecotourism seek to use the leverage provided by charismatic and well-known species to achieve more subtle and far-reaching goals in species and biodiversity conservation. By directing public attention to the diminishing numbers of giant panda due to habitat loss, for example, conservation groups can raise support for the protection of the panda and for the entire ecosystem of which it is a part. (The giant panda is portrayed in the logo of the World Wide Fund for Nature.)

Taxonomic bias

Charismatic megafauna may be subject to taxonomic inflation, in that taxonomists will declare a subspecies to be a species because of the advocacy benefits of a unique species, rather than because of new scientific evidence.[8] The public's preference to identify with species sold through the ecotourism industry may be a factor for creating taxonomic inflation.[8] In the public perception, ecotourism may be about seeing species, and the number of unique species increases the perceived biodiversity and tourism value of an area.[9][10] A correlation may exist between the taxonomic bias in biodiversity datasets and the charisma of terrestrial megafauna, with the more charismatic species being largely over-reported.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b Ducarme, Frédéric; Luque, Gloria M.; Courchamp, Franck (2013). "What are "charismatic species" for conservation biologists ?" (PDF). BioSciences Master Reviews. 10: 1–8. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  2. ^ Kaufman, Donald G.; Franz, Cecilia M. (2000). Biosphere 2000: Protecting Our Global Environment. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. p. 342. ISBN 978-0-7872-5713-2.
  3. ^ "Penguins in peril". The Guardian. The Guardian. 1999.
  4. ^ a b Courchamp, F.; Jaric, I.; Albert, C.; Meinard, Y.; Ripple, W. J.; Chapron, G. (2018). "The paradoxical extinction of the most charismatic animals". PLOS Biology. 16 (4): e2003997. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2003997.
  5. ^ Miller, C. R.; Waits, L. P.; Joyce, P. (2006). "Phylogeography and mitochondrial diversity of extirpated brown bear (Ursus arctos) populations in the contiguous United States and Mexico". Molecular Ecology. 15 (14): 4477–4485. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.03097.x. PMID 17107477.
  6. ^ Mysterud, A.; Bartoń, K. A.; Jędrzejewska, B.; Krasiński, Z. A.; Niedziałkowska, M.; Kamler, J. F.; Yoccoz, N. G.; Stenseth, N. C. (2007). "Population ecology and conservation of endangered megafauna: the case of European bison in Białowiez'a Primeval Forest, Poland". Animal Conservation. 10 (1): 77–87. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2006.00075.x.
  7. ^ Rugenstein, Dustin R.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.; Sherman, Paul W.; Gavin, Thomas A. (2006). "Pleistocene Park: Does re-wilding North America represent sound conservation for the 21st century?". Biological Conservation. 132 (2): 232–238. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2006.04.003.
  8. ^ a b "Species inflation: Hail Linnaeus", The Economist, May 17, 2007
  9. ^ Higham, James (2007). Critical Issues in Ecotourism: understanding a complex tourism phenomenon. Butterworth-Heinemann. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-7506-6878-4.
  10. ^ Weaver, D. (2002). Ecotourism. John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd. p. 113. ISBN 0-471-42230-4.
  11. ^ Monsarrat, S.; Kerley, G.I.H (2018). "Charismatic species of the past: Biases in reporting of large mammals in historical written sources". Biological Conservation. 223: 68-75. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.036.

Further reading

  • Petersen, Shannon (1999). "Congress and charismatic megafauna: a legislative history of the Endangered Species Act". Environmental Law. 29.
  • Leader-Williams, N.; H. T. Dublin (2000). "Charismatic megafauna as 'flagship species'". In Entwistle, A. and N. Dunstone. Priorities for the Conservation of Mammalian Diversity: Has the Panda had its Day?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 53–81. ISBN 0-521-77279-6.
  • Goodwin, H.; N. Leader-Williams (2000). "Tourism and protected areas – distorting conservation priorities towards charismatic megafauna?". In Entwistle, A. and N. Dunstone. Priorities for the Conservation of Mammalian Biodiversity: Has the Panda had its Day?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 257–275. ISBN 0-521-77279-6.
  • Barney, Erin C.; Mintzes, Joel J.; Yen, Chiung-Fen (January 2005). "Assessing knowledge, attitudes, and behavior toward charismatic megafauna: The case of dolphins". The Journal of Environmental Education. 36 (2): 41–55. doi:10.3200/JOEE.36.2.41-55.
Bambi effect

The "Bambi effect" is a term used anecdotally or in editorial media that refers to objections against the killing of charismatic megafauna (animals that are perceived as "cute" or "adorable", such as deer or dolphins), while there may be little or no objection to the suffering of organisms that are perceived as somehow repulsive or less than desirable, such as spiders or an endangered fungus and other woodland creatures.Referring to a form of purported anthropomorphism, the term is inspired by Walt Disney's animated film Bambi, where an emotional high point is the death of the lead character's mother at the hands of the film's antagonist, a hunter known only as "Man".

Bengal tiger

The Bengal tiger is a Panthera tigris tigris population in the Indian subcontinent. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and was estimated at comprising fewer than 2,500 individuals by 2011. It is threatened by poaching, loss and fragmentation of habitat. None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within its range is considered large enough to support an effective population of more than 250 adult individuals. India's tiger population was estimated at 1,706–1,909 individuals in 2010. By 2014, the population had reputedly increased to an estimated 2,226 individuals. Around 440 tigers are estimated in Bangladesh, 163–253 tigers in Nepal and 103 tigers in Bhutan.The tiger is estimated to be present in the Indian subcontinent since the Late Pleistocene, for about 12,000 to 16,500 years.The Bengal tiger ranks among the biggest wild cats alive today. It is considered to belong to the world's charismatic megafauna.

It is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh. It is also known as the Royal Bengal tiger.

Cultural depictions of turtles

Turtles are frequently depicted in popular culture as easygoing, patient, and wise creatures. Due to their long lifespan, slow movement, sturdiness, and wrinkled appearance, they are an emblem of longevity and stability in many cultures around the world. Turtles are regularly incorporated into human culture, with painters, photographers, poets, songwriters, and sculptors using them as subjects. They have an important role in mythologies around the world, and are often implicated in creation myths regarding the origin of the Earth. Sea turtles are a charismatic megafauna and are used as symbols of the marine environment and environmentalism.As a result of its role as a slow, peaceful creature in culture, the turtle can be misconceived as a sedentary animal; however, many types of turtle, especially sea turtles, frequently migrate over large distances in oceans.

Detroit River

The Detroit River (French: Rivière Détroit) flows for 24 nautical miles (44 km; 28 mi) from Lake St. Clair west and south to Lake Erie as a strait in the Great Lakes system and forms part of the border between Canada and the United States. The river divides the metropolitan areas of Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario—an area referred to as Detroit–Windsor. The two cities are connected by the Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit–Windsor Tunnel, and the Michigan Central Railway Tunnel.

The river's name comes from the French Rivière du Détroit, meaning River of the Strait. The Detroit River has served an important role in the history of Detroit and Windsor, and is one of the busiest waterways in the world. It serves as an important transportation route connecting Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence Seaway and Erie Canal. When Detroit underwent rapid industrialization at the turn of the 20th century, the Detroit River became notoriously polluted and toxic. Since the late 20th century, however, a vast restoration effort has been undertaken because of the ecological importance of the river.

In the early 21st century, the river today has a wide variety of economic and recreational uses. There are numerous islands in the Detroit River, and much of the lower portion of the river is incorporated into the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. The portion of the river in the city of Detroit has been organized into the Detroit International Riverfront and the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor. The Detroit River is designated an American Heritage River and a Canadian Heritage River — the only river to have this dual designation.

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the only international wildlife refuge in North America. It was established in 2001 and is managed jointly by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service. It is situated in the heart of a major metropolitan area. Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is one of over 540 National Wildlife Refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within the Department of the Interior. It occupies 7.88 square miles (20.42 km2) of scattered property but has drawn boundaries for further expansion.The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge consists primarily of coastal wetlands, several islands in the Detroit River, and waterfront parks. The Refuge includes islands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands along 48 miles (77 km) of the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie shoreline. It encompasses Humbug Marsh, a wetland in Gibraltar and Trenton in southeastern Wayne County, which is classified as a wetland of international importance.

Flagship species

In conservation biology, a flagship species is a species chosen to raise support for biodiversity conservation in a given place or social context. Definitions have varied, but they have tended to focus on the strategic goals and the socio-economic nature of the concept, to support the marketing of a conservation effort. The species need to be popular, to work as symbols or icons, and to stimulate people to provide money or support.

Species selected since the idea was developed in 1980s include widely recognised and charismatic species like the black rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger, and the Asian elephant. More locally significant species like the Chesapeake blue crab and the Pemba flying fox have suited a cultural and social context.

Utilizing a flagship species has limitations. It can skew management and conservation priorities, which may conflict. Stakeholders may be negatively affected if the flagship species is lost. The use of a flagship may have limited effect, and the approach may not protect the species from extinction: all of the top ten charismatic groups of animal including tigers, lions, elephants and giraffes are endangered.

Glossary of ecology

This glossary of ecology is a list of definitions of terms and topics in ecology and related fields. For more specific definitions from other glossaries related to ecology, see Glossary of biology and Glossary of environmental science.

Helsinki Zoo

Helsinki Zoo (Finnish: Korkeasaaren eläintarha, Swedish: Högholmen djurpark) is the largest zoo in Finland, located on the island of Korkeasaari (literal meaning "Tall Island/Islet") in Helsinki. The zoo is also commonly referred to by the island's name, Korkeasaari.

The island of Korkeasaari is a 22-hectare (54-acre) rocky island, connected to the mainland via a bridge to the Helsinki district of Mustikkamaa, where there is access to the zoo all year round. A ferry and water buses take visitors to the island during summertime, from the Market Square and Hakaniemi.

Korkeasaari is among the most popular places among visitors in Helsinki. The animals on display are divided geographically to Amazonia, Africasia and Borealia. There are about two hundred Animal species, and about a thousand plant species.

Index of conservation articles

This is an index of conservation topics. It is an alphabetical index of articles relating to conservation biology and conservation of the natural environment.


Landour, a small cantonment town contiguous with Mussoorie, is about 35 km (22 mi) from the city of Dehradun in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India. The twin towns of Mussoorie and Landour, together, are a well-known British Raj-era hill station in northern India. Mussoorie-Landour was widely known as the "Queen of the Hills". The name Landour is drawn from Llanddowror, a village in Carmarthenshire in southwest Wales. During the Raj, it was common to give nostalgic English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish names to one's home (or even to British-founded towns), reflecting one's ethnicity. Names drawn from literary works were also common, as from those by Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson and many others.

Largest organisms

The largest organisms now found on Earth can be determined according to various aspects of an organism's size, such as: mass, volume, area, length, height, or even genome size. Some organisms group together to form a superorganism (such as ants or bees), but such are not classed as single large organisms. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest structure composed of living entities, stretching 2,000 km (1,200 mi), but contains many organisms of many types of species.

This article lists the largest species for various types of organisms, and mostly considers extant species. The organism sizes listed are frequently considered "outsized" and are not in the normal size range for the respective group.

If considered singular entities, the largest organisms are clonal colonies which can spread over large areas. Pando, a clonal colony of the quaking aspen tree, is widely considered to be the largest such organism by mass. Even if such colonies are excluded, trees retain their dominance of this listing, with the giant sequoia being the most massive tree. In 2006 a huge clonal colony of Posidonia oceanica was discovered south of the island of Ibiza. At 8 kilometres (5 mi) across, and estimated at around 100,000 years old, it may be one of the largest and oldest clonal colonies on Earth.Among animals, the largest species are all marine mammals, specifically whales. The blue whale is believed to be the largest animal to have ever lived. The largest land animal classification is also dominated by mammals, with the African bush elephant being the largest of these.

Manta Trust

The Manta Trust is a UK-based charity that was formed in 2011 to co-ordinate global research and conservation efforts for manta rays, their close relatives and their habitat.

As charismatic megafauna, manta rays act as a flagship species, helping to promote and engage the general public in the wider message of marine ecosystem conservation. Through this top down approach to conservation the manta ray becomes the catalyst for change, engaging and motivating the general public, governments and local communities alike.

A UK Registered Charity, the Trust brings together a number of projects from around the globe, both new and long-standing, including the Republic of Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia. By conducting long-term, robust studies into manta populations in these locations, the trust aims to build the solid foundations upon which Governments, NGOs and conservationists can make informed and effective decisions to ensure the long-term survival of these animals and their habitat.

The BBC News program "Protecting the fragile manta rays of the Maldives" profiles Manta Trust's conservation efforts in the Maldives.

Media coverage of global warming

Media coverage of global warming has had effects on public opinion on climate change, as it mediates the scientific opinion on climate change that the global instrumental temperature record shows increase in recent decades and that the trend is caused mainly by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. Almost all scientific bodies of national or international standing agree with this view, although a few organisations hold non-committal positions.

Media attention is especially high in carbon dependent countries with commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. The way the media report on climate change in English-speaking countries, especially in the United States, has been widely studied, while studies of reporting in other countries have been less expansive. A number of studies have shown that particularly in the United States and in the UK tabloid press, the media significantly understated the strength of scientific consensus on climate change established in IPCC Assessment Reports in 1995 and in 2001.

A peak in media coverage occurred in early 2007, driven by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. A subsequent peak in late 2009, which was 50% higher, may have been driven by a combination of the November 2009 Climatic Research Unit email controversy and December 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference.The Media and Climate Change Observatory team at the University of Colorado Boulder found that 2017 “saw media attention to climate change and global warming ebb and flow” with June seeing the maximum global media coverage on both subjects. This rise is “largely attributed to news surrounding United States (US) President Donald J. Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 United Nations (UN) Paris Climate Agreement, with continuing media attention paid to the emergent US isolation following through the G7 summit a few weeks later.”Some researchers and journalists believe that media coverage of political issues is adequate and fair, while a few feel that it is biased. However, most studies on media coverage of the topic are neither recent nor concerned with coverage of environmental issues. Moreover, they are only rarely concerned specifically with the question of bias.


In terrestrial zoology, megafauna (from Greek μέγας megas "large" and New Latin fauna "animal life") are large or giant animals. The most common thresholds used are weight over 40 kilograms (90 lb) or 44 kilograms (100 lb) (i.e., comparable or larger in mass than a human) or over a tonne, 1,000 kilograms (2,205 lb) (i.e., comparable or larger in mass than an ox). The first of these include many species not popularly thought of as overly large, such as white-tailed deer and red kangaroo.

In practice, the most common usage encountered in academic and popular writing describes land mammals roughly larger than a human that are not (solely) domesticated. The term is especially associated with the Pleistocene megafauna – the land animals often larger than modern counterparts considered archetypical of the last ice age, such as mammoths, the majority of which in northern Eurasia, the Americas and Australia became extinct within the last forty thousand years. It is also commonly used for the largest extant wild land animals, especially elephants, giraffes, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, and large bovines. (Of these five categories of large herbivorous mammals, only bovines are presently found outside of Africa and southern Asia, but all the others were formerly more wide-ranging.) Megafaunal species may be subcategorized by their trophic position into megaherbivores (e.g., elephants), megacarnivores (e.g., lions), and, more rarely, megaomnivores (e.g., bears).

Other common uses are for giant aquatic species, especially whales, any larger wild or domesticated land animals such as larger antelope and cattle, as well as numerous dinosaurs and other extinct giant reptilians.

The term is also sometimes applied to animals (usually extinct) of great size relative to a more common or surviving type of the animal, for example the 1 m (3 ft) dragonflies of the Carboniferous period.

Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong

The Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港海洋公園保育基金), often referred to by its initialism OPCFHK is the conglomerate of the former Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) and The Hong Kong Society for Panda Conservation (HKSPC) established under the Ocean Park Corporation, with effect from 1 July 2005. It is a registered charitable non-governmental organisation.

OPCFHK has not only combined the missions of its forerunners to promote conservation activities for dolphins,whales and giant pandas, but also expanded to other animals such as birds, reptiles and amphibians of Asia. It looks for achieving the wildlife sustainability and biodiversity through advocation, facilitation and participation in the conservation of wildlife and habitats with research and education in Asia.

While primarily funded by Ocean Park Hong Kong, the Foundation is also reliant on other caring corporations and donors to make a real difference in the conservation efforts throughout Asia.

Polar bear

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a hypercarnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi). A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–700 kg (772–1,543 lb), while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Although it is the sister species of the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice and open water, and for hunting seals, which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time on the sea ice. Their scientific name means "maritime bear" and derives from this fact. Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present. Because of their dependence on the sea ice, polar bears are classified as marine mammals.Because of expected habitat loss caused by climate change, the polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species. For decades, large-scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species, but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of circumpolar peoples, and polar bears remain important in their cultures. Historically, the polar bear has also been known as the white bear.

Robert B. Silvers

Robert Benjamin Silvers (December 31, 1929 – March 20, 2017) was an American editor who served as editor of The New York Review of Books from 1963 to 2017.

Raised on Long Island, New York, Silvers graduated from the University of Chicago in 1947 and attended Yale Law School, but he left before graduating and worked as press secretary to Chester Bowles in 1950. He was sent by the U.S. Army to Paris in 1952 as a speechwriter and press aide, while finishing his education at the Sorbonne and Sciences Po. He soon joined The Paris Review as an editor under the guidance of George Plimpton. From 1959 to 1963, he was an associate editor of Harper's Magazine in New York.

Silvers was co-editor of The New York Review of Books with Barbara Epstein for 43 years, until she died in 2006, and was the sole editor of the magazine after that until his own death in 2017. Philip Marino of Liveright Publishing wrote of him: "Like a chemist pairing ingredients to induce a specific reaction, Silvers has built his career matching the right author and subject, in hopes of generating an exciting and illuminating result." Silvers edited or co-edited several essay anthologies. He appeared prominently in the 2014 documentary film about the Review, The 50 Year Argument.

Silvers' awards and honorary degrees include the National Book Foundation's Literarian Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Award for "Distinguished Service to the Arts", the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement in Publishing and a National Humanities Medal. Among other honors, he was a Chevalier of the French Légion d’honneur and a member of the French Ordre National du Mérite.


The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest species among the Felidae and classified in the genus Panthera. It is most recognizable for its dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. It is an apex predator, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and bovids. It is territorial and generally a solitary but social predator, requiring large contiguous areas of habitat, which support its requirements for prey and rearing of its offspring. Tiger cubs stay with their mother for about two years, before they become independent and leave their mother's home range to establish their own.

The tiger once ranged widely from Eastern Anatolia Region in the west to the Amur River basin, and in the south from the foothills of the Himalayas to Bali in the Sunda islands. Since the early 20th century, tiger populations have lost at least 93% of their historic range and have been extirpated in Western and Central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and in large areas of Southeast and South Asia and China. Today's tiger range is fragmented, stretching from Siberian temperate forests to subtropical and tropical forests on the Indian subcontinent and Sumatra. The tiger is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 1986. As of 2015, the global wild tiger population was estimated to number between 3,062 and 3,948 mature individuals, down from around 100,000 at the start of the 20th century, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets isolated from each other. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching. This, coupled with the fact that it lives in some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.

The tiger is among the most recognisable and popular of the world's charismatic megafauna. It featured prominently in ancient mythology and folklore and continues to be depicted in modern films and literature, appearing on many flags, coats of arms and as mascots for sporting teams. The tiger is the national animal of India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and South Korea.

Ugly Animal Preservation Society

The Ugly Animal Preservation Society is a comedy night with a conservation twist founded in Great Britain by biologist, writer and TV presenter Simon Watt to raise the profile of animal species which lack traditional aesthetically appealing characteristics. In part it is based on the belief that conservation of charismatic megafauna like pandas attract disproportionate amounts of funding that could be better spent elsewhere. The organisation aims to protect less attractive animals such as the proboscis monkey which also face threats.The first show was held in London in October 2012, with additional events elsewhere including at the 2013 Brighton Science Festival. Simon Makin found the Brighton event "a completely unique evening's entertainment, with plenty of knowledge nuggets thrown in amongst the giggles"., the Cheltenham Science Festival, the Edinburgh Science Festival, the Green Man Festival in Wales, the Winchester Science Festival, The British Science Festival, Bristol Big Green Week and other events and festivals around the country.Simon comperes each evening where between six and eight comedians each have ten minutes to champion a different ugly endangered species. At the end of each evening the audience votes to elect one of the species. Previous performers have included Ellie Taylor, Helen Arney, Dan Schrieber, Sarah Bennetto, Suzi Ruffell, Steve Cross, Dean Burnett and Iszi Lawrence.

Current ugly animal mascots include: for London, the proboscis monkey; for Cambridge, forms of endangered sea slug; for Bristol and Cheltenham, the three toed sloth; for Winchester, the Titicaca water frog; for Brighton, the naked mole-rat and for Newcastle the dugong.

Promachoteuthis sulcus, championed by Jennifer Harrison, was elected to be the Edinburgh mascot. Jennifer referred to it as the "gob faced squid" because of its disturbingly human-like mouth. This name has since been adopted as the common name for the species.In September 2012 the Ugly Animal Preservation Society teamed up with the National Science and Engineering Competition to create some online educational resources including eleven election style videos allowing people world wide to vote for what should become the general mascot for the society. The campaign gained international press coverage and was supported online by tweets from many celebrities including Stephen Fry, Liz Bonnin and Simon Pegg. Votes were counted by monitoring the number of likes on each of the election videos.

The winning animal, declared the ugliest animal on Earth, championed by Paul Foot and the official mascot of the society is the blobfish.

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