Target: Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA
Goal: Urge the soccer association to help protect its World Cup mascot, the Brazilian three-banded armadillo, from extinction
The mascot for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, hosted by Brazil, is the three-banded armadillo. Unfortunately despite the animal’s popularity as a soccer icon the Brazilian three-banded armadillo is coming quite close to extinction. Subsistence hunting and habitat loss have decimated populations of these amazing creatures.
Conservationists were pleased when the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) chose the endangered three-banded armadillo as the official mascot of the 2014 World Cup. Unfortunately FIFA has done little to raise money or awareness to help save its real-life mascot, whose survival is severely threatened. The three-banded armadillo comes from the dry forested region of Caatinga in northeast Brazil. The animal is known to roll up into a ball to defend itself when threatened; unfortunately this same adaptation also makes it easy for subsistence hunters to capture and eat.
FIFA has benefited a great deal from use of this iconic species as its mascot, but has not reciprocated by raising money or awareness to help save it from extinction. According to The Guardian, only one World Cup sponsor, Continental Tyres, has donated to causes aimed at helping the three-banded armadillo. This donation, while commendable, was only for $45,000–hardly enough to manage a campaign designed to save the species.
International soccer is a very lucrative business. FIFA benefits tremendously from use of the endangered three-banded armadillo as its World Cup mascot, yet has done little to assist in the conservation of this endangered species. Encourage FIFA and its sponsors to give generously towards saving the Brazilian three-banded armadillo.
Dear Mr. Blatter,
Many people are excited about the 2014 World Cup. Fuleco, the Brazilian three-banded armadillo, has been a wonderful mascot for the tournament. Unfortunately the iconic species is also in real danger of becoming extinct. Illegal subsistence hunting and destruction of habitat have decimated their numbers. And although World Cup sponsor Continental Tyres did make a one-time contribution it was not nearly enough to ensure sustainable conservation programs. Project Tatu-bola and other efforts will require significant financial and promotional support in order to be successful.
I am writing to encourage FIFA to do more to help this rare and threatened species survive. The 2014 World Cup will be very lucrative for FIFA, and FIFA has benefited tremendously from promotional use of Fuleco, a three-banded armadillo. In return FIFA should do its part by giving generously to causes helping preserve this species, and encouraging sponsors of the 2014 World Cup to do the same.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: John Cummings via Wikimedia Commons