The Four Newest Endangered Species Are All Human

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Jul 19, 2016

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Four new endangered species have been added to the list*, all from the same genus Sapiens fabrica of the family Addictus. This means a whole lot of biodiversity could disappear, fast. And we can’t even blame climate change.

Suipictor narcissisticus

Suipictor narcissisticus — more commonly known as the Selfie Taker — recently joined the worldwide endangered list as the growing number of selfie-related deaths proves a worldwide trend. However, India’s domestic population has skipped straight to the classification “critically endangered,” after the country saw the most selfie-related deaths in the world last year.

Interestingly, this species’ habitat is not under threat; Suipictor narcissisticus can still be spotted in most major cities, congregating on the top of tall buildings and bridges, near wild animals and disgruntled celebrities, and in the drivers’ seats of powerful machinery.

Rather, it appears that the selfie takers’ eponymous instinct is now inhibiting its ability to function in its hitherto natural environment. Experts also posit that the world’s stagnating supply of adulation and awe, which combine to form 96.5% of the selfie taker’s diet, could also be responsible.

Efforts are afoot to save them. Russia has announced a campaign to maintain its flock of selfie takers. And countries like Japan, South Korea and sites in India, the US, Saudi Arabia, and China are limiting Suipictor narcissisticus to approved, protected areas or banning selfie sticks, mutated appendages some selfie takers have evolved to facilitate their main occupation.

Ludius pokemonicus

The Pokemon Go Player is the most recently discovered of these species, yet it is also — thanks to its rapid diffusion out North America, Australia and New Zealand — the world’s most invasive species since the cane toad. Indeed, Ludius pokemonicus can be spotted alone, in pairs, small groups and even in large herds in its natural urban environment from Montreal to Lisbon to Mumbai to Japan.

Possessed of an innate locative sense, the Ludius pokemonicus simultaneously displays a complete lack of awareness regarding its immediate surroundings. Experts agree this has prompted early signs of endangerment, as Pokemon Go players are unable to recognize habitat degradation, particularly in urban areas, which forces Ludius pokemonicus into contact with inhospitable new environments and hostile species.

While not as endangered as the others on this list, its preemptive classification is a bid to keep this wonder species — the only species outside of the Amazon that has been credited as the key to everything from fighting obesity to easing mental illness — around for as long as possible.

Scriptum pedestriantus

The Texting Walker has seen slow but sustained decline since the advent of Sapiens fabrica. It’s dwindling population has long been overshadowed by the critical endangerment of it’s cousin, the Texting Driver. But as the number of Scriptum automobilius stabilised in recent years, thanks to a spate of conservation regulations, attention has shifted to saving the texting walkers.

Like the Pokemon Go player, texting walkers display a disregard for their immediate surroundings, yet lack the Ludius pokemonicus‘ highly attuned locative sense. This often results in Scriptum pedestriantus wandering into hostile territory by accident.

Texting walkers therefore rely on the more acute senses of other animals for protection. It is an occasionally symbiotic relationship; in return for a gentle nudge or shouted warning, the texting walker has been observed to respond at times with directions or messages. But when unguarded, the solitary Scriptum pedestriantus lives in a semi-hibernative state that makes it particularly vulnerable.

Like the loss of the species, efforts to preserve it have been slow and spotty. In the US and China, ad hoc responses focus on creating safe havens known as “texting lanes.” Other countries, like Germany and South Korea, are piloting high- and low-tech solutions that would penetrate the texting walkers’ muted senses and minimize their dependence on other animals.

In Japan, however, the decimation is so severe that the country is employing ninjas in its attempt to save its Scriptum pedestriantus population. Which is probably the leading strategy to date, because ninjas are the answer to everything.

Recordari recordarae

The Rememberer, that already rare species, appears to be under more threat than ever in recent years. Little data exists to document the extent of Recordari recoradarae deaths (most evidence is anecdotal, often involving forgotten phone numbers while trapped under a fallen bookcase).

But a growing body of research suggests the decline of the rememberer isn’t due to death at all, but rather to evolution. Scientists have noted marked similarities — most notably a unique diet of information, preferably trivial — between the Recordari recordarae and a recently discovered species, Scrutatio googleite. The growth of the latter’s population roughly correlates with the decrease in rememberer¬†numbers, which strengthens the hypothesis.

No efforts are underway to save rememberers as the conservation community mires itself in debate around whether the two species are ultimately the same and thus, neither in need of protection. But as both sides misquote Darwin, the end result may be that the Recordari recordarae go the way of Homo neanderthalensis.

*Not really true. Also, all deaths and injuries referenced are grievous, and our hearts go out to the loved ones of the deceased or injured. But these tragedies are preventable, friends — let’s be safe!

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Written By Liesl Goecker

Liesl Goecker is The Swaddle’s managing editor and has been living and writing in Mumbai since 2010. She is passionate about women’s rights, everyone’s health, and caffeine.

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