What Is A Flagship Or Umbrella Species? What Are They Often Important Even Though They Are Costly To Maintain?


1 Answers

Alex Wheeler Profile
Alex Wheeler answered
This question asks about two separate things.

Firstly, a flagship species is a species of animal chosen to represent a group, charity, foundation or some other organization, usually those based around conservation. The species is usually chosen because it is easily recognizable; it may have a distinct color pattern, or be a very well known animal. A great example of this is the panda that features in the seal of the WWF - the World Wildlife Fund for Nature.

Secondly, an umbrella species is a species which is of specific interest to conservationist groups due to the effect its disappearance would have on the ecosystem it lives in. It is argued that the conservation of one species can be a difficult decision to make, as truly knowing how many of any one species are left in the wild is obviously very difficult. Choosing to protect an umbrella species is often an easier decision, as the work done to protect it will have a more beneficial effect for every species in its ecosystem.

Whilst conservation can indeed be costly, the protection of umbrella species can stop entire ecosystems from dying out, and is therefore considered very important. When we consider that something as small as a change in soil can create a chain-reaction of events for all species in one area, the extinction of a species would have a hugely detrimental effect on massive numbers of other species in every place the extinct species once existed.

Answer Question