Take a good look at the WWF website, (World Wildlife Fund, not the other one) and what do you see? The giant panda, of course. Tigers. Gorillas. Cetaceans. The token reptile, a sea turtle. Generally cute and/or fuzzy, or, failing that, sleek and "handsome". Notice a pattern?Garfman intends to publish one species profile a week. So far, we've seen:
Pulling up the Ohio Endangered Wildlife List, I discovered that among the listings was a species of midge. A midge! You know, the relatively inconspicuous insects that go largely unnoticed by anyone except entomologists--unless you're swatting at a cloud of them. If that wasn't enough, they were joined by endangered lampreys, beetles, clams, and some of the aforementioned snakes. Well, that settled it. These were as imperiled, and at least as important as the black bear, whose stories have peppered state news. Where were the American burying beetle news features? The "Save the Wartyback Mussel" t-shirts? The Ohio lamprey plush toys?
- Thamnophis radix radix, the eastern plains garter snake.
- Neoceratodus forsteri, Queensland (or Australian) lungfish
- Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, eastern hellbender
- Sphenodon punctatus, tuatara
- Lepidurus packardi, vernal pool tadpole shrimp
- Cyclura lewisi, Grand Cayman blue iguana
I think Garfman can go "uglier." Hagfish is about as gross as you can get, but they're not on the Ohio list. Lampreys are a close second, and they're on the list.
What would be your top choice for an endangered "ugly" species?