Charismatic megafauna are animal species that are large—in the relevant category that they represent
Use in conservation
Charismatic species are often used as
Beginning early in the 20th century, efforts to reintroduce extirpated charismatic megafauna to ecosystems have been an interest of a number of private and non-government conservation organizations.
Environmental activists and proponents of
Charismatic megafauna may be subject to taxonomic inflation, in that taxonomists will declare a subspecies to be a species because of the advocacy benefits of a unique species, rather than because of new scientific evidence. The public's preference to identify with species sold through the ecotourism industry may be a factor for creating taxonomic inflation. In the public perception, ecotourism may be about seeing species, and the number of unique species increases the perceived biodiversity and tourism value of an area. A correlation may exist between the taxonomic bias in biodiversity datasets and the charisma of terrestrial megafauna, with the more charismatic species being largely over-reported. However, reports that charismatic megafauna are more engaging to the public than other species have recently been questioned.
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