The Most Charismatic Megafauna

By 376 votes 158 voters 2.4k views 27 items tags f p @
Megafauna. Charismatic megafauna. What are they even? They are elephants and pandas and lots of other popular animals that people just love. These large animals are the poster children of environmental movements, put on posters and turned into adorable stuffed animals to gain public support for conservation and other environmental goals.

So, if you are wondering why you see giant pandas everywhere, it's because conservation groups were like, "Hmm, how can we get people all over the world to care about an ecosystem in China that is facing some peril?" The answer was cute pandas.

What are some popular charismatic megafauna? Well, think of just about any wild animal you are familiar with and have seen in the gift shop at your local zoo. Elephants, lions, sea turtles - the California condor even. They are all well-known species that were chosen to be the faces of various conservation campaigns and other endeavors.

Some of the animals on this list are endangered megafauna, while others are more ubiquitous, and some were maybe once on the brink of extinction, but thanks to their charisma, were saved! What a tale! Which charismatic megafauna species do you think look the most friendly? Are any of the animals on this list ones that you would love to chat with at a bar? Upvote the most charismatic of the megafauna creatures below, and go get yourself a stuffed red panda to cuddle until the end of time.
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    Harp Seal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Charismatic Megafauna
    Photo: user uploaded image

    The harp seal or saddleback seal is a species of earless seal native to the northernmost Atlantic Ocean and parts of the Arctic Ocean. It now belongs to the monotypic genus Pagophilus. Its scientific name, Pagophilus groenlandicus, means "ice-lover from Greenland". more

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    Leopard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Charismatic Megafauna
    Photo: user uploaded image

    The leopard is one of the five "big cats" in the genus Panthera. It is a member of the Felidae family with a wide range in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia to Siberia. Compared to other members of the Felidae, the leopard has relatively short legs ...more

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    Elephant is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Charismatic Megafauna
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct. Three species of elephant are recognized: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant and the Indian or Asian elephant] although some group the two ...more

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    Penguin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Charismatic Megafauna
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have evolved into flippers. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid ...more

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    Lion is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Charismatic Megafauna
    Photo: user uploaded image

    The lion is one of the five big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. The commonly used term African lion collectively denotes the several subspecies found in Africa. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions ...more

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    Red Panda is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Charismatic Megafauna
    Photo: user uploaded image

    The red panda, also called lesser panda,red bear-cat and red cat-bear, is a small arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and south-western China that has been classified as vulnerable by IUCN as its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals. The population continues to ...more

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    Snow Leopard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Charismatic Megafauna
    Photo: user uploaded image

    The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because as of 2003, the size of the global population was estimated at 4,080-6,590 adults, of which fewer than 2,500 individuals may reproduce in ...more

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    Dolphin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Charismatic Megafauna
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Dolphins are cetacean mammals closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from 1.2 m and 40 kg, up to 9.5 m and 10 tonnes. They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves and are carnivores, eating ...more

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