Launched in January 2007, ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme prioritises species for conservation attention according to their degree of unique evolutionary history (Evolutionary Distinctiveness) weighted by conservation urgency (Global Endangerment, representing threat status according to the IUCN Red List). The world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species are not only on the verge of extinction but are also totally unique in the way they look, live and behave. These irreplaceable species include the long-beaked echidna (one of only two types of egg-laying mammal), the Chinese giant salamander (a newt that has reached human proportions) and the West Indian solenodons (the only mammals capable of injecting venom into their prey through their teeth). EDGE species are immediate priorities for conservation attention because if they disappear then millions of years of unique evolutionary history will be lost forever and there will be nothing like them left on earth.
Our research has identified a major gap in global conservation efforts: 64% of the world’s top 100 EDGE mammals and 85% of the top 100 EDGE amphibians are currently receiving little or no conservation attention. These alarming figures are likely to be even higher in less well-known taxa. EDGE’s mission is to secure the future of these forgotten species through supporting targeted on-the-ground action for priority EDGE species (EDGE Projects), building conservation capacity in regions in which priority EDGE species occur (through our Fellowship programme) and encouraging others to support and engage in EDGE species conservation.
For more information visit: www.edgeofexistence.org
Asian Elephants are the largest land mammal in Asia
They can live up to 70 yrs!
Males experience a yearly “musth”, which is a period when testosterone levels are augmented 100 times more than basal levels. During musth, bulls are extremely aggressive
Photos Courtesy of: ZSL
Fragmented islands of forest across Asian mainland from India to Nepal and east to Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia
They inhabit a varied range from grasslands to tropical evergreen forest/semi-evergreen forest, wet and dry deciduous forests to dry thorn forests. Especially for the protection of their young, they favor living within heavily forested areas and preferably with greater moistness
The Asian elephant is smaller than the African elephant Has smaller ears, a more rounded back, and the presence of two dome-like structures on the top of its head
Bamboo, sugar cane, and bananas
Investigating scrummy foliage with their trunks and making a stomping mess in the process