‘New Big 5’ project asks people to vote for their favourite animals

Chris Packham, Dr Jane Goodall, and Djimon Hounsou are among supporters of new initiative to discover the world’s top five must-see species.

Male lion in Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya. © Graeme Green

In celebration of wildlife and wildlife photography, a new project is encouraging people around the world to vote for the top five animals they most want to see and photograph.

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Set up by wildlife photographer Graeme Green, the New Big 5 project aims to highlight the importance of all manner of creatures across the globe, at a time when countless species are facing the threat of extinction.

Taking inspiration from Africa’s ‘big 5’, which consists of lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – once the top species targeted by trophy hunters, but now a big draw for photographers and safari-goers – the ‘New Big 5’ is set to have a wider, international selection of animals.

From a shortlist of more than 40 species – mostly made up of mammals but with a few reptiles in the mix – voters can choose anything from tortoise and Komodo dragon to kangaroo, red panda and polar bear.

Polar bears in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada. © Daisy Gilardini
Polar bears in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada. © Daisy Gilardini

If you’re struggling to whittle down the options to just five, you can take inspiration from the plethora of photographers, conservationists and famous faces – including Ben Fogle, Dr Jane Goodall, Djimon Hounsou, Joanna Lumley, Moby and Chris Packham – who are supporting the initiative and who have offered up their own personal ‘big 5s’.

“There are so many incredible animals in our world. Any project that brings attention to animals, so many of whom are threatened or endangered, is truly important,” says primatologist Dr Jane Goodall.

Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, Yunnan province, China. © Xi Zhinong
Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, Yunnan province, China. © Xi Zhinong

New Big 5 voting is currently open and the results are due to be announced later in 2020.

To find out more and cast your vote, visit the New Big 5 website.


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Main image: Male lion in Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya. © Graeme Green