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Ugly Animal Preservation Society

September 9, 2013

The Ugly Animal Preservation Society uses humor to raise awareness about nature’s less attractive endangered animals.



Conservation through comedy. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The endangered blue-grey taildropper slug lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. (Photo courtesy of Kristiina Ovaska)

Ever heard of the Canadian blue-grey taildropper slug?


It’s amazing because, for starters, it’s smurf blue, which is fantastic, but if you scare it, its bum drops off. Which is actually a survival tactic. So it’s actually leaving its tail behind so whatever is chasing it will stop and eat its tail while it can run off as much as a slug can, really.


That’s biologist and comedian Simon Watt of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. He says if you’ve never heard of this species, it’s probably because cuter animal like the panda get all the attention.

SIMON WATT (Ugly Animal Preservation Society):

I’ve got nothing against the panda per se, but it has its champions. A lot of the species we talk about don’t. We are trying to use comedy to talk about these creatures because conservation is depressing. Every day you open the newspaper and you see a new species that’s extinct. So to try and make sure we don’t switch off from it. And so that we don’t think it all ends at pandas and tigers.


Vote for your favorite ugly animal at: I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Watch a video from the Ugly Animal Preservation Society