The Zoological Society of London's EDGE of Existence programme is the only global conservation initiative to focus specifically on threatened species that represent a significantly large amount of unique evolutionary history.
Using a scientific framework to identify the world's most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered ("EDGE") species, the programme highlights and protects some of the weirdest and most wonderful species on the planet today!
EDGE species are those which have few close relatives on the "tree of life", and are often extremely unusual in the way they look, live and behave, as well as in their genetic make-up. The top 100 highest priority EDGE mammal and EDGE amphibian species have already been identified, and work is now underway to develop corresponding lists for birds, sharks, reptiles, corals, plant and invertebrate groups.
The main goal of the EDGE of Existence programme is to ensure that urgently needed conservation is in place for every single top 100 EDGE species within five years of their initial assessment. EDGE species represent a unique and irreplaceable part of the world's natural heritage, but incredibly, many are still sliding unnoticed towards extinction. Through raising awareness about those EDGE species in gravest danger and developing internationally available conservation action plans, EDGE acts as a catalyst for the global conservation community to take collective action. Part of this work involves the support and training of young in-country conservationists, as EDGE believes that the only way to implement truly effective, long-term conservation action is to help local communities help their own local (EDGE) species.
To find out more about the EDGE of Existence programme, our latest conservation projects, and just how you can support this work, please visit our website.
Grevy on the Serengeti