Thursday, May 17, 2012

Save the Pacific Fisher

We've all seen those movies and commercials.

A sad-faced polar bear watches her cub float away on a block of ice. She dives in after her cub, and can barely struggle to heave herself up onto the slippery, wet ice. They look on hopelessly.

We've also heard about penguins shipped to zoos to preserve their populations (see humorous video below). We know about thinning herds of elephants and zebras struggling to keep their populations alive. And, of course, we've seen the adorable panda on the World Wildlife Foundation logo.

Folks pour money into the causes that promise to help these endangered animals, fascinated by the chance to keep something so foreign and exotic on this planet.

I am strongly inclined to visit Toronto now...

What they don't realize is that there are less sensationalized critters that need help, too. Here in the Northwest, we have a beautiful and diverse population of endangered species that need protection.

Look at him! So cute! He needs help, too!
Take, for example, our friend the Pacific Fisher. He is threatened by loss of habitat and depressed population size, and his folk are suffering in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. I know I haven't seen him on TV, and yet, look how cute he is!

The list of threatened species for the Northwest area goes on and on and on. And I wonder how people would respond if these animals were shown on the "save the animals" commercials, rather than lions and zebras and elephants.

One thing I know for certain is that, while people care about strange and interesting issues, they also connect strongly to local issues. And while I care about endangered species worldwide, I would probably be more likely to shell out cash if it meant that I have a better chance of seeing the Pacific Fisher (or Pygmy Rabbit, or Columbian white-tailed deer) on a hike one day.




  1. Check out the history of the Spotted Owl. People in the Northwest made conservation a huge deal. It became just as much about saving the Spotted Owl, as it did about Northwest Forests. The Spotted Owl even made the cover of Time. This became such a huge issue because of the importance of logging in the area.

  2. Jodie: Your blog is rock steady. This is another strong post. One improvement to make in your structure is to add a colon at the end of your lead, and then move the next graf up. You don't want to disconnect the two parts as you have here. Have you heard the term "charismatic mammals"? This partially explains why big, adorable animals like polar bears get media attention and fishers don't. Score = 9.5