The Chinese government has been warned by scientists to rethink that whole attempted mass extermination of one of its fuzzy, mouse-esque inhabitants believed to be the inspiration for the beloved Pokemon character Pikachu.
Since 1958, China has carried out a poisoning campaign against the tiny and undeniably adorable creature called a pika, a burrowing rodent found across northwest plateau regions of China. The pika has been classified as a pest by officials under the belief that it has a negative impact on grasslands in the area, where much of the country’s water supply is sourced.
In an article published in the Ambio journal last month, researchers at Arizona State University stressed that the extermination of the pika is actually notably more harmful to the environment, as the wiped out areas of inhabitation are now prone to flooding. The researchers, Maxwell Wilson and Andrew Smith, further came to the defense of the critter by claiming that the pikas only burrow into land that has already been degraded, and that they’re not actually causing the degradation.
They’ve also argued that the mass poisoning has a severe impact on the ecosystem (surprise), as the creatures’ network of burrows has created homes for birds and lizards roaming the plateau region and “when pikas are poisoned, their burrows collapse and these bird species disappear or their populations are greatly reduced,” according The Independent, citing the report. Not to mention the extermination’s potentially profound effect on the food chain among regional species, which could result in “knock-on effects to human populations,” and so-on.
In a response to previous studies on the wipe out of burrowing mammals in the area, the Mongolian government put an end to the poisoning of pikas. Beijing, seemingly ignoring evidence brought forth by scientists (not entirely surprising), is going ahead with the extermination, according to RT News, after over 31,000 square kilometers of land was targeted for the wipeout in 2014 alone.
[Pika image via Wikipedia]