“Flagship species is a species that is used as an ambassador, symbol or icon for a defined habitat, environmental cause or campaign.”
What is Flagship Species?
Flagship species are also known as charismatic species. These are iconic throughout the world due to their unique appeal. Panda, polar bears, turtles, tigers, rhinoceros, etc. are a few flagship species that have gained international recognition.
Every country can have its own flagship species that are unique to its place. For eg., Iberian lynx is the flagship species in Spain.
Flagship species are the species that are on the verge of extinction. They are therefore used as an ambassador to draw society’s attention towards the need to conserve them. The Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, African Elephant, and Giant Panda are a few flagship species used by the World Wildlife Fund.
The main objectives of flagship species are:
- The unique features of these animals help in attracting society’s attention.
- Raising awareness about the protection and conservation of these species.
Also Read: Concept of Species
Categories of Flagship Species
Flagship species can be divided into three different categories:
- International Flagship Species: These are the species that are recognized throughout the world. For eg., giant panda
- Cultural Flagship Species: These species represent a specific culture. For eg., Bornean Ironwood is specific to Dayak tribe. It is used for medicinal purposes and for night rituals.
- Ecological Flagship Species: These represent species with unique diversity. For eg., Malagasy Baobab found in Madagascar.
Benefits of Flagship Species
The flagship species such as pandas and elephants help in generating revenue through visits to institutions where they are kept. This revenue helps in the protection and sustainability of species.
The flagship species attract the public due to its unique features. This way the plight of such creatures can be brought to the notice of the society and strategies can be implemented to improve their condition. This will create awareness regarding biodiversity conservation among the individuals.
Also Read: Biodiversity
For more information on flagship species and their benefits, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.