EDGE of Existence

Secretary bird

It is the only global conservation initiative to focus specifically on threatened species that represent a significant amount of unique evolutionary history. 

Using a scientific framework to identify the world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species, the EDGE of Existence programme highlights and protects some of the weirdest and most wonderful species on the planet.  EDGE species have few close relatives on the tree of life and are often extremely unusual in the way they look, live and behave, as well as in their genetic make-up.  They represent a unique and irreplaceable part of the world’s natural heritage, yet an alarming proportion are currently sliding silently towards extinction unnoticed.

Read more on the EDGE website


EDGE Birds

New study reveals half of the 100 highest ranked EDGE bird species are receiving little or no conservation attention. The EDGE top 100 birds list identifies the most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered avian species in the world. We must conserve these species to safeguard the greatest amount of evolutionary history possible.

Visit the EDGE Birds Top 100 website to find out more.

Pygmy Hippo caught in camera trap

The pygmy hippopotamus, or pygmy hippo, Choeropsis liberiensis, is an...

Children smiling at Thailand HECx School children

Asian elephants have been coming into conflict with humans as their habitat...

Chinese Giant Salamander

ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Programme has been working to protect this Unique...

Long-eared jerboa

Surveying the diverse and unique wildlife of this region and building up a...

The Ganges River Dolphin

The Ganges river dolphin is in need of protection, so ZSL is studying their...

Pygmy sloth climbing

The unique and critically endangered pygmy sloth is the world’s slowest...

Edge Fellow Description

The EDGE of Existence programme invests in conservation at a grass-roots...

Elegance Coral at ZSL London Zoo
EDGE coral reefs highlights 10 priority species for conservation that reflect th
Red slender loris
Elephants, rhinos and pandas are well-known EDGE mammals, but 70% of the highest
Chinese Giant Salamander
A staggering 85% of the top 100 EDGE amphibian species are currently receiving l
Philippine eagle

The ‘little dodo’ and a bird that dispatches its prey by stamping on its...