People Paying More Attention to 'Ugly' Endangered Species

The Washington Post enterprised a nice piece about how it's no longer just photogenic creatures that are finding protection from endangered species laws.

The Post looked at government funding for endangered species, saying that the government's efforts to save all endangered plants and animals has in years past turned into a glamour contest of sorts:

"The furry, the feathered, the famous and the edible have dominated government funding for protected species, to the point that one subpopulation of threatened salmon gets more money than 956 other plants and animals combined.

"The furry, the feathered, the famous and the edible have dominated government funding for protected species, to the point that one subpopulation of threatened salmon gets more money than 956 other plants and animals combined.

"Now, though, scientists say they're noticing a little more love for the unlovely.

"They say plain-Jane plants, birds with fluorescent goiters and beetles that meet their mates at rat corpses are getting new money and respect -- finally valued as homely canaries inside treasured ecosystems."

Indeed, when you visit Web sites such as endangeredspecies.com, you'll see that the most popular searches are for the photogenic jaguar, cheetah and leopard. The site provides these links:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers some additional links:

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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.

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