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Journal Articles (Review Article) Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Year : 2023

Flagship individuals in biodiversity conservation


Flagship species are an important tool for mobilizing support for conservation. Here, we extend this concept to include individual organisms, whose characteristics, fates and connections to people can garner public attention, attract conservation support, and spur activism. Flagship individuals typically have some of the following characteristics: (i) species traits associated with charisma, (ii) unique or distinguishing individual traits, (iii) high level of exposure to humans, and (iv) a known, noteworthy life history or fate. The interplay between these characteristics and human agency creates unique connections between flagship individuals and people, and generates widespread media attention. We discuss how the selection and promotion of flagship individuals can inspire empathy and, ultimately, conservation action. Finally, we identify the limitations of the flagship individual approach, while arguing that, if carefully and strategically implemented, it has the potential to produce significant benefits for conservation policy and practice.
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Dates and versions

hal-03935818 , version 1 (12-01-2023)





Ivan Jarić, Iran C Normande, Ugo Arbieu, Franck Courchamp, Sarah L Crowley, et al.. Flagship individuals in biodiversity conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, In press, ⟨10.1002/fee.2599⟩. ⟨hal-03935818⟩
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