A flagship species acts as an ambassador for less-recognized or less-beloved animals and organisms in a habitat. Polar bears are a flagship species for conservation in the Arctic region, for example, while giant pandas fulfill the role for the Yangtze River Basin in China.
Basically, the idea is this: Use iconic animals to help raise awareness and funds, which are then put into improving that species' well-being. But in the process, animals sharing the same habitat also benefit. So some vital yet boring-sounding species of bird that you've never heard of gets a boost when you donate funds to, say, a tiger conservation program. Perhaps the tigers get more roaming space in their wildlife preserve, but in the process, the birds' nesting trees are saved from logging. It's a win-win.
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