Save the Ugly Animals, Too — Our Ecosystem Needs Them

The dodo bird, the golden toad, the Hawaiian crow, and Liverpool pigeon are some of the animals that have been declared extinct in the last decade. Recently in the BBC News Science and Environment sector, David Shukman posed an interesting question about whether or not people should make a “fuss” about extinction. But humans have a moral obligation not only to help save the attractive animals from distinction, but the not-so-attractive ones as well.

The program, EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) of Existence identifies endangered species with unique and unattractive traits and provides research and helps pose methods of conservation for the animals.

Some of the animals listed are:

The Long-beaked echidna


The Mountain ghost frog


The Bali Starling


There are multiple animals that are critically endangered that a lot of individuals do not find attractive. These animals represent a diverse and unique history to evolution. The extinction of these animals could cause implications to the ecosystem and the Earth’s biodiversity. Having the ability to study diverse species also helps scientists understand our world better.

Obviously some animals have become extinct because of natural selection, like the Holdridge’s toad and Darwin’s theory of natural selection may help cause the endangerment of some animals. Some people could say that we shouldn’t spend time saving animals that aren’t the “fittest,” but when it poses a threat to the biodiversity of nature, that's a problem.   

The question that comes into play is whether or not we save the animals and how we determine which ones we should save. My opinion is that we should help as many animals whose endangerment we may have sparked, even if they aren’t the most attractive.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Michelle Adams

Currently serving as an AmeriCorps member at the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness with the Campaign to End Homelessness program, Michelle is passionate about ending homelessness. She graduated with a B.A. in Communication and a specialization in public relations and a minor in sexuality and conflict/management from Michigan State University. Her interests lie in writing about culture, sexuality/gender and homelessness. Offline she enjoys quoting How I Met Your Mother, volunteering, swinging at parks and stargazing.

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