How do we save charisma-challenged species? Start with a story

The bulk of wildlife conservation funding goes to charismatic species, but there are ways to push charisma-challenged species as well. Researchers say that telling a species’ story including photos can help inspire people to save the small and forgotten species. Zoos have also proven critical in protecting less charismatic species, but will this change in our COVID-19 world? This is part 2 of a series written by Mongabay columnist Jeremy Hance. Part 1 is here . Let’s be honest: you’ve probably never heard of the Colombian dwarf gecko ( Lepidoblepharis miyatai ). That’s OK, I hadn’t either until I researched this story. But you should hear of it now: it’s so small it could fit on two sugar cubes with only its tail dangling over. It’s only found in a small section of dry forest in Colombia. And also, according to Liliana Saboya Acosta, a fellow for the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) EDGE program, it has a “very cute face.” Acosta says the minuscule gecko “looks grumpy … because it has small scales on the top of its eyes and gives this impression that is always mad.” Tiny, cute, grumpy: this makes for an appealing image. There’s even […]

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