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Old 08-01-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default Saving the Good, the Bad--And the Ugly

Saving the Good, the Bad--And the Ugly
A hyena might not be as adorable as a tiger cub or dolphin, but a few champions of nature's endangered ugly underdogs say the hideous are just as worthy of protection as the huggable
By Katherine Harmon
July 23, 2009

Saving the Good, the Bad--And the Ugly [Slide Show]: Scientific American
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The bulbous purple burrowing frog may not have made it onto any awww-inspiring tote bags like the unequivocally adorable giant panda. But, an increasing number of people are arguing, the humble frog—and other more homely creatures—is at least equally worth rescuing from the brink of extinction.
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A handful of animals that are easier on the eye than, say, the aye-aye, have gotten the lion's share of publicity, funds and legislation for their salvation. Many so-called "charismatic megafauna," which conservationists select as mascots—or "poster children", are chosen for their looks rather than their ecological importance, notes biologist David Stokes of the University of Washington in Bothell.

"If we could raise the ecological literacy of the public and our officials to see beyond the surface value of these animals to their ecological or even utilitarian role," Stokes says, "that would be really valuable." Many endangered insects may actually be more ecologically "important" than an affable Galápagos penguin. But biologists, he notes, often neglect to take preference into account.
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:37 PM   #2
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Slide Show: 10 Ugly Animals That Need Help, Too
http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=saving-the-ugly-species
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:16 AM   #3
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Yes, the more homely critters deserve protection as much as any others. We can't judge a species by its looks, they're all important cogs in the wheel of life.

I do my part with the occasional rescue of one of our local uglies, Snapping Turtles. While it isn't endangered, it's a species that's becoming less common locally due to the lack of habitat.

I rescued two of them this year when they were crossing roads. Some drivers will deliberately aim for them.

The turtles are never grateful for my assistance, but I can't leave one on the road when I see it, as I know it will come to a bad end if I leave it.

Here's a photo of a big one (shell length about 13"-14") I rescued last May, not the prettiest animal you'll ever see. And it lived up to its name, did its best to remove any part of me that it could get ahold of, but happily, I avoided feeding any of my appendages to it.
Saving the Good, the Bad--And the Ugly-chelydra-serpentina-dsc_2456-01.jpg


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Old 08-06-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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There are several turtle rescuers here on the forum, jpdenk. You are in good company.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:44 AM   #5
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Awww, you are such a sweetie for helping the turtle across the road.
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