• Pepijn's Livingroom Urban Research Program (PLURP)

    Antarctica, Conservation, Science

    By now most people have taken notice of the grand news: After a measly 20 years of lethal sampling, Japanese scientists managed to get a decent, and somewhat insightful article, of their commercial whale culling enterprise highly scientific whaling programme in a proper publication. Hurrah for science!

    The publication is the culmination of 18 years worth of lethal sampling in the Southern Ocean. Contents of over 4500 Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) slaughtered since the late 1980s reveal the animals have lost significant amounts of blubber and are getting thinner at a worrying speed.

    The Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research has made it known they are shocked by this worrying state of the animals and, in a move to conserve the remaining whale-burgers, will refrain from more lethal research. (update: oh no, it seems someone made that up, instead 1000 lethal samples will be taken next year)

    Research Programmes

    As the Southern Ocean whaling programme has much going for it, similar research programmes are undertaken by organisations all across the world. Using the scientific approach promoted by the Japanese I am actually research director of one of these programmes myself. PLURP, or Pepijn's Livingroom Urban Research Programme, is a multi year undertaking in localised Cat (Felis catus) research. Intended goal is to acquire more data needed to properly managed cat stocks in the Pepijn's Livingroom Urban Management Area (PLUMA).

    Local stock is thriving with a 100% population increase this year alone

    Major discoveries of PLURP
    The key and single major discovery of PLURP-I is that lethal sampling will be needed to achieve an incentive for PLURP-III. This discovery will form a solid scientific base for the PLURP-II research outline. PLURP-II starts in the 2009-2010 season and will closely follow the ethical guidelines as developed for JARPA.

    Research highlights
    Unlike JARPA (Japan's Antarctic Research Programme) and JARPA II (same thing, more samples), PLURP for now has focussed on non-lethal research observations. While greatly satisfactory in determining both feeding habits and hunting behaviour this has left a grand feeling of emptiness with our harpoonist. Focussing on our specimens we already observed an increase in meowing before securing meals. This has led us to believe our specimens are seriously underfed.

    Typical hunting behaviour shown by observation specimen #1 'Periko'

    Countless hours of observation and listing to obnoxious meowing have led us to believe that we should create some sort of hypothesis. Doing so we can conclude that, just like our hypothesis states, the impact of centralised heating is indeed of key influence in perceived food scarcity among the population.

    Observation specimen #1 'Periko' is relaying an image of perceived food scarcity

    When key food sources (image left) are inaccessible the animals turn to alternative food sources (image right) for their nutrient intake

    The future will surely bring many exciting discoveries to the advancement of felid research. With the transition into PLURP-II, lethal research will however become a necessity. For 2009-2010 a research quota has been proposed for 1000 lethal samples (pregnant specimens are counted as one). Also seven Golden retrievers will be included. This should answer the question whether current food supplies are adequate to maintain the current population number of one (42% confidence interval).

    (run cat, run!)

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  • By Pepijn on 28 08 08 - 23:10 | five comments |

    five comments:

    Are you planning on killing my cat? Did you observe my cat a month from now? (Date:28/09/2008) Do you realise Periko is male, and therefore you can't sample pregnant specimen? Is this the part where you tell me to take care of my own cat if I'm not happy?
    So many questions...
    Juliette (Email) (URL) - 29 08 08 - 13:01

    That's a lot of questions lady, you must be working for Oceana or so. We'll start with the last one: No, I'm not telling you to take care of your own cat. Felis catus in Pepijn's livingroom is a common and shared resource. Don't you know about UNCLOS (the livingroom amendment, High Floors etc)? Second question: if flatworms can do it so can cats (http://theoystersgarter.com/2008/08/28/i..) Regarding 'killing' (I prefer the term lethal research); we'll have to see if it's needed for the project.
    Pepijn - 29 08 08 - 13:23

    Adooooorable kitten, don't harpoon it for science!
    lemony - 30 08 08 - 09:06

    Zero to one a 100percent increase? PLURPA is without doubt Japanese JARPA styled. Thanks for the laugh Pepjin!
    Lemy Iron (Email) - 31 08 08 - 21:10

    Don't forget to dispose of the scientific refuse by selling it at high prices to black market cat meat dealers. Sure, science is important, but nobody says you have to be poor.
    Jives (Email) (URL) - 04 09 08 - 16:21

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