The history of the tree octopus trade is a sad one. Their voracious appetite for bird plumes having exhausted all the worthy species of that family, the fashionistas moved on to cephalopodic accoutrements during the early 20th Century. Tree octopuses became prized by the fashion industry as ornamental decorations for hats, leading greedy trappers to wipe out whole populations to feed the vanity of the fashionable rich. While fortunately this practice has been outlawed, its effects still reverberate today as these millinery deprivations brought tree octopus numbers below the critical point where even minor environmental change could cause disaster.
Most importantly, spread the word! Conservation efforts thus far have been greatly restricted due to limited press and public support. Help the saola get the attention it deserves by sharing this article as well as links to the above organizations with friends, family, and anyone else willing to listen. If you’re artistically inclined, draw, paint, sing, or write about the saola and share your art and knowledge with the world. If you run your own business, consider donating part or all of your profits for a set period of time to the cause. Post flyers on notice boards, write posts on message boards, start petitions – whatever suits your communication style best. Speak up, and don’t be afraid to be loud about it.