Monday, April 12, 2010
Unicorns Are Back: Let's Kill Them.
In 2004, Canada’s committee on endangered wildlife recommended listing the Narwhal as a ‘species of special concern’, and in 2008, an international study identified this spiral-tusked whale as the species most susceptible to the effects of retreating Arctic sea-ice (contrary to views that polar bears are most vulnerable). Against this ominous backdrop, six researchers from Canada, the U.S., and Greenland developed a new system for counting Narwhals, and have recently concluded that the population in Canada’s northeastern waters is higher than was originally thought. However, in an astonishing display of perverted logic, the project team led by Canadian federal Fisheries and Oceans scientist, Pierre Richard, has concluded that, “there is a large population out there, one that can probably sustain a large hunt.” What! Float that by me again: the number of these beautiful whales who gave rise to the myth of unicorns is higher than you thought so let's go kill them! I can think of several other conclusions that might be drawn from this study, but recommending the slaughter of Narwhals is not one of them. Is there no end to the hubris and blood lust of humankind? I guess not. Watch out polar bears, you may be next.