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The term of flagship species is defined as “a little figure of globally of import endangered species which are good known and attract public involvement in preservation attempts both for themselves and other species at risk” in the lexicon ( Oxford 2007:171 ) . However, this squad has been frequently used in a broader sense ( Leader-Williams and Dublin 2000 ; Caro et Al. 2004 ; Clucas 2008 ) . For illustration, species is on occasion described as the one which can pull fiscal support ( Dietz et al. 1994 ; Sergio et Al. 2006 ) and contribute to habitat protection of other species in some instances ( Sergio et al. 2006 ) .

This construct of flagship species has been used as a preservation scheme ( Linnell et al. 2000 ) in order to simplify the complex construct of biodiversity preservation ( Dietz et al. 1994 ) . On the other manus, there are besides concerns about using flagship species as a preservation scheme ( Entwistle 2000 ; Leader-Williams and Dublin 2000 ) . The major concern is the instability between species in preservation attempts and fiscal support, and uncomplete home ground convergence between flagship species and other species ( Entwistle 2000 ) . Therefore, this reappraisal will try to discourse the function of flagship species in preservation and the development of its construct with the instance of carnivores, which is frequently identified as flagship species.

This reappraisal consists of three parts. The first portion sets the background for farther treatment in this reappraisal by placing carnivores as flagship species. The 2nd portion examines the function of flagship species in preservation with three facets ; its attraction to people, fiscal part, and parts to other species. In the 3rd portion, the possible development of the construct of flagship species is considered.

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Carnivore as flagship species

In many instances, mammals or birds are viewed as flagship species ( Leader-Williams and Dublin 2000 ; Entwistle 2000 ; Williams et Al. 2000 ) , particularly carnivores ( Andelman and Fagan 2000 ; Linnell et Al. 2000 ) . The tiger and the coon bear, for case, are often mentioned as typical illustrations of flagship species ( Entwistle 2000 ; Linnell et Al. 2000 ; Bowen-Jones and Entwistle 2002 ) , which are besides used to guarantee fiscal support for preservation organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature ( WWF ) ( Dietz et al. 1994 ; Leader-Williams and Dublin 2000 ) . Other illustration of using carnivores as flagship species is the polar bear, which is considered as the symbol of planetary heating ( National Wildlife Federation 2009 ; WWF 2009a ) .

In order to understand these people ‘s attitudes, Kellert ( 1996 ) high spots that sing “basic wildlife values, cognition of wildlife, perceptual experience of single species and human/ animate being relationship” ( Kellert 1996: 100 ) should be important. This step has been frequently used for research of people ‘s attitudes in a given country. For illustration, Barney et Al. ( 2005 ) examined attitudes of 289 participants towards Dolphins in North Carolina. However, this method may non be suited to mensurate international attitude towards carnivores due to the unfeasibility of sampling.

On the contrary, Kruuk ( 2002 ) analyzes general attitude towards carnivores based on historical relationship between human existences and animate beings, concentrating on four possible grounds. First, people might esteem carnivores as skilled huntsmans, because historically human existences were besides hunter- gatherers. Second, people ‘s attitudes might be natural response to protect themselves from danger, since human existences were frequently preyed upon by carnivores. This is called as the marauder turning away scheme. Third, Human artistic work related to carnivores, such as pictures, literature, and emblems, shapes human image of carnivores as attractive animals, although they were fundamentally ways of warning towards carnivores as one of the marauder turning away schemes. Fourthly, people could happen similarities between Canis familiariss and Canidae ( i.e. wolf, Canis aureus, or fox ) , or cats and Felidae ( i.e. tiger, king of beasts, or lynx ) . In position of the above possible grounds, Kruuk ( 2002 ) presumes that instinctively people are attracted to intrinsic value of carnivores such as their hunting accomplishments, their being as the menace to life, their artistic image, and their similarities with Canis familiariss or cats. It follows from Kruuk ‘s analysis that carnivores are able to derive international attending for being flagship species.

The function of flagship species in preservation: the instance of carnivore

Attracting people ‘s attending

The carnivore as a flagship species could lend to pulling attending of the populace in two ways- unseeable and seeable ways. In unseeable manner, the importance of preservation is recognised and positive attitude towards preservation is affirmed by and large, although people frequently do non take action by themselves. In seeable manner, people tend to seek to lend to better preservation activities indirectly and straight.

One of the recognizable actions as indirect parts may be considered the support of preservation administrations of wildlife including carnivores. Carnivore preservation undertaking is important to obtain continual supports by people. As a good illustration of this, the WWF, which has been supported by over 5 million people ( WWF 2009b ) , is recognized worldwide by the coon bear logo ( Dietz et al. 1994 ) . Furthermore, the most popular animate being appeared on the screens of the U.S. preservation magazines between 1994 and 2006 were carnivores ( Clucas 2008 ) . Therefore, from above illustrations, it seems sensible to say that Carnivores likely conduce to keep protagonists.

Meanwhile, the direct part must be considered as increasing the figure of histrions. One illustration of this includes the U.S. billionaire Thomas Kaplan, who established two preservation establishments concentrating on wild cat such as the tiger or the panther. One is an administration, Panthera established in 2006 ( Panthera 2009a ) , and another is a research centre founded at University of Oxford in 2009 ( Wild CRU 2009 ) . On the web site of Panthera, Kaplan explains the ground for establishing Panthera that “I have ever felt a enormous affinity for large cats” ( Panthera 2009b ) . As can be seen in his words, the carnivore as a flagship species can pull people with intrinsic value as Kruuk ( 2002 ) concludes, hence, they could play an of import function in preservation by pulling the populace.

However, the over-concentration on one species ( Entwistle 2000 ) and negative impacts created by the spread between international and local attitude towards carnivores frequently occurred ( Entwistle 2000 ; Linnell et Al. 2000 ; Bowen-Jones and Entwistle 2002 ) . Conservation undertakings of carnivores may take to negative attitude towards preservation in local country, since carnivore sometimes considered as a nuisance ( Linnell et al. 2000 ; Brown-Jones and Entwistle 2002 ) . Similarly, the over-concentration on flagship species could go an obstruction to other species preservations if the legal protection for animate beings is unequal or preservation attempt does non concentrate on in-situ which means protection of home ground including other species place scope, but ex-situ which means salvaging one species by confined genteelness ( Entwistle 2000 ) .

Fiscal part

Raising consciousness of flagship species is frequently associated with fiscal part to wildlife preservation. Contributions for preservation undertakings must be one manner of back uping flagship species. A instance in point is that a tiger preservation was endowed with at least $ 41 million from 1998 to 2005 ( ZSL 2007, cited in Linkie and Christie, 2007 ) . This part is used to run local preservation undertakings including home ground protection, environment instruction undertaking, developing pupils or anti-poaching work ( Gratwicke 2007 ) .

In above instance, if tiger ‘s function as flagship species is considered, contributions should be used for other species. The other illustration of concentration on resource can be the allotment of Nipponese national budget. Within budget for Nipponese endangered species, two little carnivore called Tsushima leopard cat ( Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus ) and Iriomote cat ( Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis ) have several preservation undertakings and preservation Centres, while all critically endangered species do non hold ain preservation undertakings ( Ministry of environment 2009a ) .

Contribution to other species ‘ endurance

Since carnivores tend to hold a comparatively big place scope, it is expected to lend to other species by home ground protection ( Linnell et al. 2000 ) . For case, 27 tiger militias in India were established from 1973 to 2000 and the entire country is 37761 km2 ( Project Tiger 2009 ) . Consequently, other species in those tiger militias have been protected every bit good.

On the other manus, there are unfavorable judgments that carnivores do non ever cover other species, carnivore preservation ( Entwistle 2000 ) . However, what has to be noticed is that the original construct of the term, flagship species, as a preservation scheme is to pull people, therefore part to other species should be viewed as side consequence. For the ground given above, using flagship species for the protection of other species ‘ home ground may be misused ( Leader-Williams and Dublin 2000 ) .

As discussed above, carnivores as flagship species in preservation could play an of import function in pulling people, obtaining fiscal parts and in some instances, parts to other species by home ground protection. However, there is a possibility to do negative attitude of local people towards preservation and lead to unequal beginning distribution and preservation attempt. In order to extenuate these negative impacts of utilizing carnivores as a flagship species, developing the construct of a flagship species may be one effectual attack.

The development of the Concept

For developing the construct of a flagship species in an effectual manner, it is indispensable to see the solution of bing jobs. As the instance of carnivores, the spread between international and local attitudes and the over-concentration of public attending taking to imbalanced preservation attempts and resource are cardinal jobs. One attack to get the better of these jobs is to use an country with two or three species as flagship country.

First, the spread between international and local attitude can be complemented with other species. Due to the trouble in shuting the spread between international and local attitude particularly towards carnivore ( Linnell et al. 2000 ) , using several species could be the effectual solution. In order to obtain local people ‘s attending, added species must suit into the standards of local values such as cultural significance or positive associations ( Bowen-Jones and Entwistle 2002 ) . Second, the over-concentration on individual species may be evitable by denominating the country as flagship country with some species. However, there is a possibility that merely concentrating on the country alternatively of species might ensue in film overing the original mark to conserve. Thus it is of import to maintain the construct of species so that the populace can understand easy ( Dietz et al. 1994 ) . Based on the above suggestions, the construct of flagship species could be developed by adding two or three species to bing one in order to bridge the spread between international and local attitude, and by spread outing the mark from species to country to diversify attending. This thought is explained more clearly by a instance survey below.

Case study- Iriomote Island in Japan

Iriomote Island at 289 square kilometers is located in Southwest of Japan, known as the place of critically endangered and endemic species ( Imaizumi 1994 ) called Iriomote cat ( Prionairulus bengalensis iriomotensis ) ( Ministry of Environment 2008 ; IUCN 2009 ) . Its population is estimated about 100 persons ( Ministry of Environment 2008 ) . The find of the Iriomote cat was reported sensationally in the1960s ( Okamura 2008 ) , and the Iriomote cat is identified as a flagship species in Japan ( Conservation International-Japan Hotspot 2009 ) .

The positive function of Iriomote cat as flagship species

In 1995, The Iriomote wildlife preservation Centre was established as a Centre for the Iriomote cat preservation undertaking run by the Ministry of Environment ( Okamura 2008 ) . This Centre has provided chances for a figure of tourers to larn non merely Iriomote cats but besides other animate beings and workss on the Island ( Ministry of Environment 2009b ) . The Iriomote cat can besides lend to habitat protection of other species ; for case, 86 wildlife subwaies were built to forestall from road-kill which is one major menace ( Okamura 2008 ) . Furthermore, in order to protect Iriomote cat home ground, two large-scale transitions from forest to agricultural land and a route building to link between West and E of the Island were cancelled ( Okamura 2008 ) .

The job of utilizing Iriomote cat as flagship species

The spread of attitude between people in mainland of Japan and occupants in the Iriomote Island can be identified. In 1978, a newspaper reported an IUCN research worker ‘s remark that it is impossible to coexist with 100s people and the Iriomote cat. This remark generated strong resistance towards the Iriomote cat preservation amongst Islanders, as can be seen from the phrase “Iriomote cat or Peoples? ” ( Okamura 2008 ) . In add-on to this event, the development such as transition to cropland and chief route in the Island has been restricted by home ground protection for Iriomote cat, accordingly, some occupants has negative attitude towards Iriomote cat preservation ( Okamura and Nishimura 1991, cited in Okamura, 2008 ) . Therefore, there is the attitude spread between local occupants and people in mainland including national authorities.

The possible development of the construct of flagship species

Although the Iriomote cat is considered to be suited for flagship species by Nipponese people on mainland, local people on Iriomote Island do non see the same manner, similar to the instance in Bowen-Jones and Entwistle ( 2002 ) . For illustration, the trees in Utaki and Kamai might be suited for flagship species from the point of view of local value on Iriomote Island. Utaki is a sacred site with trees, which are protected by each community particularly specific households called Tsukasa. The duty to protect the sacred topographic point Utaki has passed down from coevals to coevals ( Flavin 2007 ) . Kamai is the local name of the Ryukyu wild Sus scrofa ( Suidae scrofa riukiuanus ) . Although occupants have long tradition of runing Kamai for nutrient, presently it becomes hard to run owing to possible population worsening of Kamai ( Ishigaki et al. 2007 ) .

Therefore, the trees at Utaki and Ryukyu wild Sus scrofa could go extra species for local people. If those species are included in flagship species as important cultural values for occupants, their negative attitude towards preservation might be mitigated. Furthermore, when sustainable usage of Ryukyu Sus scrofa for local occupants is included in preservation undertakings, it may be possible to work with huntsmans holding a wealth of cognition sing nature. However, if conservation undertakings of Iriomote cat, the trees at Utaki and Kamai are conducted individually, Iriomote cat preservation could derive more attending or resource instead than other two. Therefore, Iriomote Island itself including those species should be the flagship for preservation to avoid the over-concentration.


Since flagship species is defined as the species which can pull people, accordingly, it can lend to conservation financially to obtain contributions and in some instances, ecologically to other species by home ground protection. However, there are two negative function of carnivore as flagship species in preservation. One is that it could give negative impact on people ‘s attitude towards preservation, which depends on the relationship between homo and carnivore. Second, if people ‘s attending is over dressed ore on one species, it could take to imbalanced preservation attempts and unequal beginning distribution amongst species. In order to extenuate these jobs, the construct of flagship species should be developed by concentrating on two or three species, and country degree represented by these species.


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