A newly discovered moth species that makes its home in Southern California and the United States-Mexico border has been both appropriately and ironically named after President Donald Trump.
The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi is so named for the white-yellowish scales on top of its head resembling Trump's signature hairstyle. Ironically, its habitat along the U.S.-Mexico border recalls the very basis of Trump's presidential campaign: building a huge wall to further mark the division between the two countries.
While the discovery of the moth is amusing to some, naming the moth as such goes beyond paying homage to the newly elected president, for it is nothing short of an urgent call for wildlife conservation.
Trump Administration's Stand On Environment
It is important to point out that many of these top choices either deny climate change or show no support for the most pressing environmental concerns of the United States and the world.
Ryan Zinke, for instance, is a possible shoo-in as Trump's interior secretary. If approved, Zinke will oversee America's forests and wildlife parks, and have an important part in wildlife conservation including, but not limited to, combatting illegal wildlife trade in the country and abroad.
As interior secretary, Zinke will be responsible for wildlife conservation, which worries environmental groups. Zinke, who claims to be a conservationist, blames volcanoes for climate change and believes that climate change is not yet proven.
Zinke is just one possible member of the cabinet that may have a huge impact on the environment.
Scott Pruitt, Trump's pick for no less than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), isn't just a climate change denier; he has also sued the EPA in the past so as to stop environmental protection programs.
Pruitt has since been involved in an issue concerning environmental lead poisoning.
Rex Tillerson, the prospective secretary of state, throws his support for the Paris climate agreement yet runs the world's biggest oil and gas extraction company.
Rick Perry, former Texas governor and a prospective energy secretary, does not believe in the science of climate change.
Zinke, Pruitt, Tillerson, and Perry are just a few of the controversial cabinet picks of the Trump administration, even after Trump's own meeting with former Vice-President Al Gore, who is known for his advocacy against the climate crisis.
With these cabinet choices, it is not surprising that even scientists are going to such lengths as to name animals after the president just to call for his attention on wildlife conservation.
"By naming this species after the 45th president of the United States, I hope to bring some public attention to, and interest in, the importance of alpha-taxonomy in better understanding the neglected micro-fauna component of the North American biodiversity," said Vazrick Nazari, the evolutionary biologist who named the new moth species after Trump.
Obama's Last Measures For Environmental Protection
It is not unknown that Donald Trump is unsure about his stand on climate change to say the least, as he has stated his belief that it is nothing but a conspiracy made by the Chinese.
Former President Barack Obama has already taken steps to ensure the continuous support of the U.S. for wildlife conservation and the Paris Agreement, with the allotment of $500 million to the Green Climate Fund.
Many of Obama's wildlife advocacies, such as the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, a task force created in an effort to stop international illegal wildlife trade, will stay in place even after he steps down.