Saturday, June 7, 2008

Let's pause for a moment of silence, please

If I knew how to drape my blog in black, that's what I would do today. I've just read that the Caribbean monk seal has become extinct. What that really means, of course, is that "people" have just today confirmed that it's true. Do you want to know the really bad part? The AP article says, "Humans hunting the docile creatures for research, food and blubber left the population unsustainable." Extinction is forever, people! We aren't talking about the death of a single seal, but the death of a whole KIND of seal. The article goes on to say, "The last confirmed sighting of a Caribbean monk seal was in 1952 between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula." And "the species is the only seal to become extinct from human causes." YOU did it, you people did it. I'm especially bothered by the list of reasons: "research, food, and blubber."

Oh, did I hear someone ask where I got this photo? It's an Hawaiian monk seal in this stock photo taken a decade ago, and there are only about 1,200 of them left. This species is declining at the rate of about 4% a year, according to NOAA, which protects them. When their numbers get below 1,000 in the next three or four years, they too will be among the most endangered marine species in the world. You researched them to death! I am so totally depressed that I can't talk to you anymore right now. I'm in mourning.

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