The mascot of the World Endangered
Fuleco is the mascot of the World (Photo Archive)

Fuleco, the mascot of the World Cup in Brazil, is a real and endearing animals: An armadillo ball fighting extinction. But so far no Cup is helping a lot.
Therefore, every goal that scientists call the World, held in 12 Brazilian cities from June 12 to July 13, from becoming more protection for the armadillo.
The armadillo is a curious animal ball 50 centimeters that the senses danger is collected and its hard shell forms a perfect ball, hence its choice as a pet for the World Cup.
Hunting and habitat destruction, the ‘Caatinga’ or semi-arid north and northeast Brazil are the main threats to their survival.
The NGO Association Caatinga proposed to FIFA adopt the “armadillo ball” as a pet, convinced that Brazil, a country of lush forests and jungles, I had to link the World Cup to the environment and use the event to protect species and ecosystems danger.
More than 1.7 million people voted for baptize the little armadillo, weighing less than a kilo and eats ants, roots and fruits, such as “Fuleco” combining the words “football” and “ecology”.
But so far, “Fuleco has not used any environmental discourse, says that is endangered. Many even know that Fuleco is an armadillo, even here in Caatinga, where he hails the animal,” said Rodrigo Castro, president Caatinga Association.”FIFA authorizes companies to sell products Fuleco, including a million stuffed animals (made in China) but not a small part of that money goes to the protection of the species,” he said.
“Being chosen as the official mascot Fuleco has helped raise awareness in Brazil about the armadillo ball and its status as a vulnerable species,” said FIFA in a statement indicating that the pet is not being “used to promote messages specific environmental “.
Goals for Nature
Scientific institute linked to biodiversity ICMBIO government have launched a provocative campaign that claim to FIFA and the government that every goal World is transformed into hectares of protection Caatinga.
“We want the choice of a pet armadillo ball World is not just symbolic, but actually contribute to the conservation of this charismatic species. And their environment,” said José Alves Siqueira, professor at the Federal University of Valle de San Francisco (Univasf), in a magazine article in which Biotropica scientists launched the campaign.
On the Brazilian side, there has already been some good news for the armadillo as it is to leave a plan with specific goals for conservation, the ministry of Environment. “Without the World Cup, surely this would not have happened,” Castro said.The Caatinga, which occupies an area larger than France, the UK and Switzerland together, and retains about 50 percent of its vegetation, is the habitat of other iconic and threatened species that could benefit from such protection, such as the puma and the jaguatirica, feline lower.
The armadillo ball, whose scientific name is Tolypeutes tricinctus, referring to the three belts that allow its shell-shaped coupling ball, is “the only armadillo species endemic to Brazil”, besides being the smallest and least known, according to the Red Book of the Brazilian Fauna Threatened Species.
“The ball does not dig holes armadillo, and its unique defense strategies are collected under the leak and its shell but, even running on the run, can be easily reached by a person, and when (a position that can be maintained for 20 rolls or 30 minutes), can be grasped without risk for those who hunt, “reports the Red Book.