Friday, May 11, 2012

Beauty and the Beast

CNN  has picked up a story from the  journal Biodiversity that deals with:

…. how vulnerable species that overtly display characteristics human beings respect or find desirable -- such as beauty, strength, power or cuddliness -- are more likely to be the focus of concerted conservation programs than animals or plants that are less appealing to the eye.

"People have biases towards species that are glamorous," said Dr. Ernie Small, author of the study and taxonomist for Agriculture Canada.

"Animals that are beautiful, entertaining or that command respect due to their size or power are almost always given greater forms of conservation protection."

         Fortunately for Idyllwild, our own Idyll-Beast meets or exceeds new federal guidelines for personal appearance of protected species. The beauty and cuddliness aspects are attested to by the scores of photographs Idyllwild visitors take home with them and which we gladly publish here. As to strength, the animal is sometimes seen working out at the par course below the ICRC playground site. And reportedly making excellent time.

            And as to power, well there are different kinds of power. His position as a director of the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce gives him some very limited powers. I believe he is able to sign checks (with a second director.) And of course Chamber Directors have the power of invisibility. He can also make and second motions and vote.

            But I think what the authors of the study cited had in mind were more “telegenic” powers.  Being beautiful, entertaining and commanding respect for his size; what better description could an Idyll-Beast elicit? Certainly the behavior of the ladies in many of these photos is ample testament to powers most of us wish we had…

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