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Meet the 10 Species ZSL EDGE of Existence and National Geographic Are Working to Protect in Asia

By on October 25, 2018 in News

These 10 animals photographed for the National Geographic Photo Ark represent some of the most unique and threatened species in Asia. That’s why the National Geographic Society and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have teamed up to help protect them.


Last year, the National Geographic Society and ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme announced a new partnership to help protect threatened species featured in the National Geographic Photo Ark, a flagship program of the National Geographic Society. Already, there are five Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellows working on the ground in Latin America to protect the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus), Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii), giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and volcano rabbit (Romerolagus diazi).

National Geographic and ZSL are now supporting a second cohort of Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellows, who will focus on species in Asia.

From the Bengal slow loris, one of the world’s only venomous primates, to the big-headed turtle, whose head is so big that it cannot be retracted into its shell, these truly weird and wonderful species are in desperate need of conservation attention. Species that will supported through this year’s Fellowship projects include:


*All statuses listed are from the IUCN Red List


This year’s cohort features one of the first ever EDGE Fellowship projects to be focused on a species from the EDGE Sharks and Rays priority list: the largetooth sawfish. This sawfish species is not only number 1 on the list, but has the top ranking EDGE score of any EDGE species, meaning it is highly evolutionarily distinctive and also highly threatened globally.

More than 26,000 species are threatened with extinction, and both National Geographic and ZSL are committed to helping save these species at risk. The National Geographic Photo Ark, founded by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, aims to document every species in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts. The EDGE of Existence programme highlights and protects some of the most unique and wonderful species on the planet.

In January 2019, the Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellow candidates working to protect these species in Asia will attend a four-week Conservation Tools training course in Borneo. Upon successful completion of this course the Fellows will begin a two-year Fellowship project on their focal species.