EDGE species are the most amazingly diverse and threatened on the planet

Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered, EDGE species include the purple frog, Indian pangolin and other living legends of our biodiverse world.

EDGE species collectively represent billions of years of evolutionary history. When they're gone, there's no replacing them. That makes them uniquely valuable if we want to preserve the richness of life on earth.

Often bizarre in appearance and behavior, these species are the ultimate survivors. Some are the only remaining descendants of a whole branch of evolutionary history. About one-third of them inhabit mega-biodiverse areas that we call EDGE Zones. They include the Purple Frog, Axolotl and Kākāpō.

Although they’re irreplaceable, most of the 4,000 known EDGE species are overlooked and poorly understood. In fact, only one in every ten is getting the conservation attention it needs.

Learn more about the Purple Frog

Purple Frog

Talk about reclusive! The purple frog lives entirely underground and emerges one day a year to party – oh, and breed.

Kottigehar Dancing Frog

You’ll only find this “dancing” frog in forest streams. It uses a groovy move, waving its hind legs in the air to attract a mate.

Indian Pangolin

Spoiler alert: it’s not a reptile! These extraordinary creatures are the world’s only scaly mammals. They’re also the most illegally trafficked wild mammal on earth.

Great Hornbill

These ”farmers of the forest” help disperse seeds far and wide; they’re important for the health of tropical forests.


This elusive primate has enough jaw-power to bite through concrete! It uses a bony middle finger to find grubs in trees in its native Madagascar.


Kākāpō are the world’s heaviest and only flightless parrot. They live in New Zealand where there are fewer than 200 of them.


EDGE species and the Tree of Life

From chickens to coral reefs, everything alive is connected. EDGE species are some of the oldest, most unique and most endangered branches of the evolutionary Tree of Life.
EDGE species and the Tree of Life

EDGE Zones

We are focusing scientific research on EDGE Zones. These 25 areas of the world have exceptionally high concentrations of EDGE species. By protecting them, we’re safeguarding billions of years of threatened evolutionary history.

These are areas of the world that together add up to less than 1% of earth’s land. But size isn’t everything. EDGE Zones collectively hold one-third of the planet’s terrestrial vertebrates (including EDGE species), one-third of EDGE species and one-third of our planet’s evolutionary history. Today, all of these are under threat. 

EDGE Zones are spread across five continents, from the humid forests of Madagascar to the mountainous Western Ghats region of India. In the Western Ghats we’ve partnered with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) to protect the Nilgiri Marten, Purple Frog and many other EDGE species.