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    Excessive popularity is hurting endangered animals
    Not all the attention of the public even with the good message might be helpful. It happened with endangered species. Despite the fact that their images are widely exploited by the media and film industry, they continue to disappear at an alarming rate.

    Tigers, elephants, rhinos, pandas and gorillas are the real superstars of our time. Animals regularly become heroes of movies and cartoons, and their images appear on the posters most Hollywood actors and athletes. But what really unites these species is endangered.

    Many commercial and government organizations believe that the use of images of the most famous representatives of the red book is compassion and helps to draw attention to environmental issues. However, the results of a new international study published in the journal PLOS Biology, show that the excessive popularity of endangered animals only stronger pushes them to the brink of extinction.

    A team of scientists under the guidance of renowned ecologist William Ripple (William Ripple) from the University of Oregon decided to find out what people consider as the most "charismatic". This was accomplished through numerous interviews in schools, universities and on the websites of zoos. As a result, the top three included tigers, lions and elephants, followed by giraffes, leopards, pandas, cheetahs, polar bears, wolves and gorillas.

    "I was surprised when I saw that almost all of these beloved animals are exposed to direct extermination of the people, especially as a result of hunting," says Ripple in a press release.

    Many endangered species of animals appear so often in pop culture and advertising that in the minds of the people have entire "virtual population", which would seem much more prosperous than populations that exist in reality. For example, the study's lead author Frank Churcham (Franck Courchamp) from the University of Paris calculated that the average resident of France see on the photos, logos and cartoons virtual more lions than they are actually left in the wild. In the same country in 2010 were sold more than 800 thousand toy giraffe "Sophie", which is eight times the number of giraffes that have survived in Africa.

    "It seems that the appearance of these Pets in stores, in movies and on television enters the public misled into believing that they were all right, says Ripple. – Unless we make a concerted effort to save endangered species, it will be the only way to see them."

    Special popularity of large animals such as elephants and rhinos, not only makes the people believe that to save them, every effort is made and that they're safe, but pushes into the shadows the many less visible species.

    Scientists believe that companies that use images of animals on the verge of extinction, should at least pay more attention to the dissemination of information conducive to their preservation, or to transfer part of the revenues from the use of images directly on the salvation of endangered species.



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