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Taste For Rare, Wild Pangolin Is Driving The Mammal To Extinction

Stashed in: Cute!, book ideas, uh oh, @emilykatemoon, Extinction

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All eight species of pangolin are threatened by extinction, with two critically endangered. And unlike many other endangered species, whose relatively small habitats are threatened by urbanization, pangolin can be found over a wide swath of the planet: practically all of South and Southeast Asia and much of sub-Saharan Africa.

So why the sudden rapacious appetite for pangolin?

Dan Challender, who co-chairs IUCN's Pangolin Specialist Group, says that in recent years "the dynamic of [pangolin] consumption has changed." Once a supplemental protein source for people in rural villages, it has become a luxury food for newly rich urbanites, prized precisely because it must be caught in the wild. "In Vietnam and China," Challender says, "wild meat is considered very good. It's treated differently from farmed meat. ... It's a natural product. There's an attachment to it."

This distinguishes pangolin from shark fin, for instance — a traditional luxury food that became more widely consumed as more people could afford luxuries. Pangolin consumption seems driven by both urban nostalgie de la boue (the same thing that makes it impossible to swing a handmade banjo in Brooklyn without hitting a farm-to-table restaurant), and by its rarity.

aw man, what a bummer. i remember learning about pangolins here!

this is like an episode of the pbs kids show, wild kratts, in which the greedy chef gourmand hunts endangered species to make exotic and expensive cuisine for his heartless clientele!

Is there a Wild Kratts episode about pangolins?

If not, can we suggest it to them?

there is not one about pangolins!  and we should definitely suggest it!!

Suggested in the Mandril Mayhem idea:

Excellent!  And today I learned, at the Wild Kratts episode ideas above, there is a sea creature named the Sarcastic Fringehead.

Mouth Wars

On the coral reef, the Kratts find a beutiful seashell. But when they pick it up to see if anyone is inside, a sarcastic fringehead comes out and drives them away by opening huge flaps of skin around his mouth. The Kratts decide that sarcastic fringehead powers would be great at defending creatures from the villlans, so they get to work on the powersuit. The sarcastic fringehead, later named Fringey, goes out to chase a shrimp and is caught in a net. While Martin goes after him, Chris has to use sarcastic fringehead powers to stop enemies from stealing Fringey's home.

Animals Featured: Sarcastic Fringehead, Ocopus, Queen Conch

Never Before/Rarely Sen WIldlife Moments: Sarcastic fringehead using mouth attack, octopus encroching on fringehead home, fringehead fighting with other fringehead

Animal Names: Fringey, Gigantomouth

that's awesome that there is an animal called the sarcastic fringehead!  it is weird looking:

sarcastic fringehead

and i'm so glad that the mandril mayhem idea included civets!  i was going to suggest we save them, too, since they are being caged and fed coffee beans so people can use their pooped-out beans to make more delicious coffee!  enslaving civets for coffee is so very wrong.

World's most expensive coffee tainted by 'horrific' civet abuse | Environment |

Poor Civets! That's so sad!!

Would "Free the Civets" be a good name for a rock band?

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