Not all wildlife is created equal in our eyes. Take the earthworm,
which doesn’t have the widespread appeal of larger, more charismatic
animals such as gorillas, tigers or pandas. Worms are never going to get
a strong “cute response”, and they won’t ever be the face of a conservation campaign. But – panda fans avert your
eyes – worm conservation is much more important once we factor in their
provision of what we now call “ecosystem services”, which are crucial to
human survival. In fact, earthworms have been ranked the number one most influential species in the history of the planet – above dinosaurs and humans.