The dilemma of which species to save first

The dilemma of which species to save first

According to them, the three species of mammals to be protected as a priority would therefore be Aye aye from madagascar, Mountain dwarf opossum from Australia and Leadbeater sugar gliderAnother opossum from Australia.

The method proposed in 2007 by a team from the Zoological Society of London is called EDGE (evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered). It assumes that biodiversity, and more generally the planet, is lost most when a species with no relatives in the great family tree of life disappears.

But their method faces two obstacles with the public: the first is that an animal known as the tiger, because it has cousins ​​from the big cats, It is lower on their priority list. And this, even if he is a very charismatic animal … which is the second hurdle. “Beautiful” animals tend to be slightly favored by biodiversity advocates. For this reason, it is not clear that an Aye-aye, with its large eyes and aggressive demeanor, would cause as much excitement as a deer in the nearest park.

On the contrary, advocates of the EDGE protocol claim that in 2018 they brought to light unknown species of reptiles and, in 2011on the species that attract around coral reefs.

their new update He was released on February 28th in the journal PLoS Biology. Of the 100 species at the top of the list, 97 were already in the previous version, although the order of many of them has been changed. This update is above all the result of an audit aimed at responding The main complaint This has been done from its very beginnings with the EDGE method: it must inevitably rely on incomplete information, since the rarer a species is, the fewer indicators we have to measure its decline.

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If the method is not unanimous, it is at least the closest thing to a global effort to make an objective decision on which species to conserve in priority, before the rate of disappearance accelerates.

Photo: Anne Aye Aye from Madagascar. Nomis Simon/Wikipedia Commons/ CC 2.0

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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