One of the standout quotes in the classic the Animal Farm by George Orwell is “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This saying aptly captures how man views certain animals. It is no secret that Tigers are more loved than Hyenas or horses are more loved than Mules. Why the disparity you might ask? The Media and conservationists have played a critical role in conditioning us to love some animals more than others. That is why the killing of an Elephant is bound to raise a storm compared to the killing of warthog. We tend to see these animals as Charismatic, and deserve protection. Such animals that are often big and loved are known as Charismatic Megafauna.
These are the flagship species that conservationist use in raising money and creating awareness as the public will readily identify, and empathize with them. The term was first used in an article titled “Saving ‘Charismatic’ Animals,” published in the 22 April 1985 issue of Newsweek magazine. The following are some of the most popular Charismatic Megafauna.