An academic paper just published confirms we have managed to drive yet another species to the verge of extinction – but no one seems to care. The WWF don’t list it and still has the panda as its mascot – which has to be the most useless animal ever: I say anything too lazy even to have a shag (but apparently capable of faking pregnancy to get extra food) deserves neither sympathy nor salvation.
I propose a better mascot for the WWF is Pthirus pubis whose shocking decline is – for once – entirely unconnected with anthropogenic climate change. Pthirus pubis has coexisted with us for millennia but will soon be gone – unless we act now.
Yes, it’s true. The data confirm pubic lice infestations have fallen from around 2% of the population to 0.07% in just a decade. So, where have all the crabs gone? Basically their habitat is being systematically destroyed by ‘Brazilian’ waxing. The fashion for immaculately buffed beaver and polished pork swords directly correlates with the demise of the Toads of the Short Forest.
Crabs only survive for a short time away from the human body so every strimmed minge, buffed beaver or crack back and sack wax just hastens their extinction. And we can’t farm them on the otherwise-useless pandas either; they are very fastidious concerning habitat and even if they weren’t the pandas’ lack of sexual appetite would be a limiting factor.
The tragedy is the terminal decline of the crab louse was identified in 2006 but – astonishingly – no action was taken. Where were you Tony Blair? You were happy to go around telling people not to cut down trees in Indonesia but turned a blind eye to the systematic deforestation of the Great British Bush back home.
I’m sure that like me you will want to act now. We need to write to that nice Mr Clegg informing him of this environmental tragedy in the making and suggesting he demand government action to save P. pubis. Other endangered species are pampered in national parks, nature reserves and wilderness areas. Some have special guided tours and walks for kids to promote engagement and understanding. Why doesn’t this humble arthropod deserve similar treatment?
One wildlife preservation site on the Intertubes suggests those interested in conservation “encourage your friends, family and acquaintances to keep patches of bush as wildlife habitats”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Image credit: Josef Reischig