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
One of the Top 25 Most Endangered Primates
Nocturnal creatures that live in daytime sleeping nests in the tree canopies
Known for its unique "double unit rolling call", which consists of a sustained vibrating call that unexpectedly becomes quite voluminous and then just as unexpectedly dies off after 10 seconds
Photos Courtesy of: Johan Karlsson(1), Andrew Perkin(2), Nike Doggart(1), from left to right
60 grams (just over 2 ounces)
Wet evergreen forest patches along East Africa within 90 km of the sea
Insects, fruit, and flowers
Snuggling with one another in their nests during the day
Cuddly cute but sassy with spice if you mistaken preciousness for pushover
Unknown but extremely rare
Habitat loss from agricultural expansion, charcoal manufacturing, and logging