Thanks to the ever growing population of the planet and the rampant increase in urban sprawl, many animal species are finding themselves without a suitable habitat in which to live. This had been occurring to such a high degree that the several non-government agencies, along with local communities established the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN then stratified threatened species into categories based on their level of endangerment. The categories are based on the risk of extinction the species is facing. While these conservation statuses are highly symbolic, the US has actually instituted some legal protection for certain threatened species. Despite these efforts, several animal species have become extinct, or at least been forced closer to that fate over the past half century.
Considered to be endangered, giant pandas have run into some tough times, aside from being a weird fascination among Asians. It seems like these bears just don't want to survive. The chick pandas are only in the mood for like 3 days a year. To put it in perspective, though, I guess that's not super different than married life. Bam. Amirite, fellas? Back to pandas, the new born babies weigh in at a whopping 3 or 4 ounces. That's less than a Big Mac. Let's not forget that we're talking about giant pandas, here. Apparently the dudes aren't all too keen on making the sexy time either, they need to watch panda porn to get their panda juices flowing. The guy that figured out this factoid is a pretty questionable individual. Now, I realize that some human couples enjoy viewing some salacious materials before engaging in intimate behavior, but bear-on-bear just seems wrong. These furry beasts might just be biologically hardwired to slowly off themselves in a very arduous process. We should probably do right by them and put them out of their collective misery.
Check out this little guy. That's a Brazilian merganser. Yeah, I had never heard of it either, apparently it's just some kind of duck. With an estimated population of only 250, this duck is considered to be critically endangered by IUCN. Critically endangered means that the population of species will decrease or has decreased by 80% in three generations. In a few years, there could be as few as 50 of these magnificent birds left. I can't begin to explain the profound sadness I experienced when I discovered this prognosis. I just couldn't cope with the very tangible reality that I might never get to sink my teeth into one of these tasty looking birds. I had such great plans to eat some of these ducks that I just found out existed courtesy of Wikipedia. Even just looking at this artist's rendition makes me salivate like starved junkyard dog. The notion of eating the last of a species arouses me in every sense of the word. But, you know, mostly 'cause of the eating bit.
I'd be willing to bet there's a healthy demographic out there of people that would enjoy eating tasty, threatened animals. Stay tuned for PEETTA membership info. Our first meeting will be a potluck. I'll bring the bald eagle l'orange.
Documentation: Merganser picture borrowed from http://www.fws.gov/endangered/news/archives/2009.html