Ugly fish are most at risk

Ugly fish are most at risk

The seas and oceans are filled with marine inhabitants, some of whom are more harmonious than others. He explains that this single factor appears to have a decisive influence on the fate of some species Watchman.

Reef fish, which are generally considered aesthetically pleasing, are the least in need of conservation support. On the other hand, those that are generally considered ugly include the most endangered species, attested by a study published in Biology Plus.

Ugly fish, victims on their sides

Is there a relationship between the aesthetic value of a marine animal and its vulnerability to extinction? According to this study, that appears to be the case. And this phenomenon could have long-term implications for aquatic life, explains Nicolas Bouquet, a community ecologist at the University of Montpellier, and one of the authors of the paper. “We need to make sure our natural aesthetic biases don’t translate into biased efforts to preserve beauty.”He told the British newspaper.

To arrive at these findings, Mouquet’s team first conducted an online survey in which 13,000 participants evaluated the aesthetics of 481 images of reef fish. The scientists then fed the data into an artificial intelligence system, allowing them to make predictions about how people would rate a total of 2,417 species of reef fish.

Pooled results indicate that round, bright and colorful fish, such as angelfish or lacturia cornuta, are often rated “more beautiful” than others. They are also those who have a fairly common genetic heritage.

Conversely, the species with the least success in surveying are often dull, have an elongated body shape and without patterns, such as telescope fish or herring. They are also the ones who face the greatest risks. Most of them are on the red list International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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On the other hand, “less beautiful” species have adapted to look like this because they generally live in water columns and have to hide in a more homogeneous habitat, which also makes them of great commercial importance and therefore more vulnerable to overexploitation.

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Marginalized species in public opinion

“Our study highlights the mismatch between potential public support for conservation and the species that need it most,” Moquet said. However, aesthetic value is not the only factor affecting the priority of conservation efforts: vertebrates, for example, are more represented in research than invertebrates.

species like clown fish Or colorful parrot fish are certainly more common, and it stands to reason that they are often used as a figurative symbol for conservation efforts.”said Chloe Nash, a researcher in fish biogeography at the University of Chicago.

This paper clearly identifies the power that aesthetic experience exerts on science and managementJoan Iverson Nassauer, a landscape ecologist at the University of Michigan, said:

Therefore the influence of aesthetics on political decisions must be taken into greater consideration. Awareness of this phenomenon can help researchers focus on the “intangible aspects of biodiversity,” which make up what researchers call “nature’s contribution to people.” In other words, the harmful and beneficial effects of the natural world on people’s quality of life. Further research in this area can help scientists better anticipate the consequences of species loss and develop appropriate communication strategies to address this issue with the public, policy makers, conservation NGOs and even the scientific community.

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