Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species have few close relatives and are often extremely distinct in the way they look, live and behave. These unique species are also on the verge of extinction, and if they disappear there will be nothing like them left on the planet. Click here for more information about EDGE species.

Some EDGE species, such as elephants and pandas are well known, but others, such as the extraordinary Chinese giant salamanders and the peculiar long-beaked echidnas, remain poorly understood. Sadly, the majority of EDGE species are currently being overlooked by existing conservation initiatives.

We set up the EDGE of Existence programme to make sure these one-of-a-kind species do not slide to extinction unnoticed. Our aims are simple:

1. Raise awareness of the highest ranking EDGE species

2. Initiate conservation projects for those not already receiving conservation attention

3. Build capacity in countries in which EDGE species occur through supporting future conservation leaders to conserve EDGE species

This section celebrates the diversity of EDGE species. Discover the world's most weird and wonderful animals, including frogs that give birth through their skin and mammals that bite like snakes. Do you know which animal is the world's largest pollinator or which can live for over ten years without food? Find out by viewing our top 100 lists:

Once you've found out about these incredible animals help spread the word amongst your friends, family and colleagues. You can find out more about the species we are currently focusing on in our Conservation section, or make a donation by visiting our Support page. With your help we can truly make a difference!