The Ugly Animal Conservation Society uses comedy to shine a light on ugly endangered species often not spoken about.
Biologist, science communicator and comedian Simon Watt founded the society because he was bored of people always asking questions about the same more aesthetically pleasing endangered species, like pandas and tigers. "I do a lot of lectures about biology and spreading the word about conservation as a whole," he told BuzzFeed Science. "I got very bored of people always asking the same questions about the same species."
1. Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus)
2. Purple Pig-Nosed Frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis)
3. Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
4. Bald-headed Uakari (Cacajao calvus)
5. Pig-nosed Turtle (Carettochelys insculpta)
6. Aquatic Scrotum Frog (Telmatobius culeus)
7. Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)
8. The Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei)
9. Greater Adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius)
Watt’s favourite ugly animal is the blue-grey taildropper slug. "If you scare it, its bum falls off" he said. "It's a very cool way of avoiding predators. If something grabs hold of you, you can just lose your tail."
The society focuses on animals that are locally or globally endangered.
They hold events including comedy tours where six comedians each champion a different endangered species. At the end the audience votes and the winner becomes the "Ugly Animal Mascot" for that city or town.
Earlier this year, Dublin voted for the lesser horseshoe bat to be the city's ugly animal mascot. "I don't think it's globally endangered but it's locally endangered there," Watt said. "[It] meant that the people in the audience could go out and do something a bit more hands-on."
"We think it's possible that maybe 200 or so species are becoming extinct every single day," Watt said.
"The crisis is as bad as that. We're trying to get more people talking about conservation as a whole. Using comedy to talk about it is as good a way as any."