'Rare & Ready to Be Saved': An Endangered Species Bracket

Join TakePart as we honor the world’s rarest creatures. Vote for your favorite animal and pledge your support for their protection.

Staff Writer Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at GOOD.

Which 1980s glam metal band had the biggest hair and rocked the hardest—Poison or Mötley Crüe? Which flavor of ice cream tastes best—chocolate or vanilla? And which animal deserves our attention—the giant panda or the Galápagos penguin?

Choosing a favorite band or ice cream flavor isn’t the toughest decision any of us will ever face. But how in the world are we supposed to make a Sophie's choice between two endangered species? If you're like us, you want to do everything you can to help them all. Fortunately, with TakePart's "Rare & Ready to Be Saved" campaign, featuring the work of the World Wildlife Fund, even when you can only choose just one, both animals win.

The campaign's effort to have a little fun turns the spotlight on all the endangered species that need our attention and protection. Over the next two weeks, pairs of animals will go head-to-head in four themed brackets: "Masked & Magnificent" critters, "Wild & Wondrous" beasts, "Mighty & Majestic" species, and "Elusive & Endangered" creatures.

At the beginning of week 1, we'll start out with 16 animals in each category. You'll vote for one animal in each matchup to advance to the next round, and by the end of the second week, we'll be down to two finalists.

Who knows—depending on what you decide, that final contest could see a seriously tough matchup between those intense crosstown rivals the "Masked & Magnificent" crowned sifaka and the "Mighty & Majestic" black rhino.  

Whatever you decide, in reality there are no losers. For every 25 votes, TakePart will symbolically adopt an animal—up to 100—from WWF. Adoption donation funds will go to WWF toward the protection of the wild animals and their habitats. Along the way, you'll also learn some facts about each of our endangered critters and find out what’s happening with efforts to save them.

Once you register to vote, you'll be all set to jump into the competition. Ready to play? Rare & Ready to Be Saved kicks off on March 27.

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