ISS Palaver Science Nexus, Alpha System
Scientists are warning that Tiyanki face "extinction level armageddon" after a new study found that their population levels have declined by up to 75% in some clusters.
According to the study published this week in the Reddit Journal of Science, the dramatic decrease in Tiyanki could have disastrous consequences for agriculture and space ecology as a whole.
Fairly docile creatures, Tiyanki often migrate between systems in groups of three, grazing on local gas giants. They play an important role in maintaining solar ecology by regulating gas giant emissions. Several spacenations regard the creatures (and their milk especially) as a delicacy and often refer to them affectionately as 'space cows'.
For the last 27 years, researchers aboard the ISS Palaver Science Nexus been closely monitoring data from Tiyanki sampling sites across the inner rim.
Dr. Mordin Salus, the reptilian lead researcher, told our newsteam;
"It's funny how this study started. If you talk to xenos from across the galaxy, they all remember how Tiyanki used to smash on the windscreen of corvettes when journeying through a system. But now, that hardly happens. It's a very visceral reaction when you realise you don't see that mess all over your ship anymore."
Salus and his team petitioned the Galactic UN to fund the study following similar reports of declining irradiated cockroaches, space amoeba, and crystalline entity populations, alongsisde concerns about rising galactic temperatures.
The study used millions of advanced 'shock traps' that were placed in random sampling sites across the galaxy. The 'traps' consisted of FTL inhibitors to lure migrating Tiyanki, and tachyon lances to immediately kill them to allow for accurate biomass processing. By measuring the weight of each 'catch', data could be compared to previous observational studies, allowing researchers to obtain the exact drop in numbers.
The study suggests if current trends are extrapolated, the Tiyanki will be completely extinct by 2300. It has concluded that there are simply "too many unknown variables" to reach a definitive answer on the cause of the population drop, but it has hypothesized that habitat destruction, over-milking and aggressive starfleets are likely implicated.
Salus has stressed that it is his personal belief that the changes are xeno-driven, stating:
"Look, I know the study doesn't really offer a conclusion but that's because half the researchers sit on the boards of major Tiyanki milk conglomerates. But I can categorically tell you this is an ecological apocalypse of our own making. As dramatic as it sounds, you have to appreciate - it takes 10 compressed Tiyanki to even get 1ml of Tiyanki Milk. The galaxy consumes 10,000L of milk every 30 seconds. Just think about that."
Public response to the news has been muted, largely as Tiyanki meat and milk supplies have yet to be interrupted. Kelly Jones, a Blorg from St. Knatchbull told our U-Pollsters;
"I mean, they're kind of gross, so it's a bit hard to care. I'm pretty cut up about alien pets going extinct, but that's only because they're like sooooo cute."
Military personnel and pilots have reacted more positively, stating the reduced numbers of Tiyanki should make for safer flying and less radar cluttering.
The Trade Union for Recently Discovered FTL Nations (TURD-FTL) has expressed disappointment in the lack of public concern. A representative body for those new to the galactic stage, it warns the galaxy would mourn the loss of these 'repugnant creatures' who are often the first to terrify naive species venturing out into the great unknown.
The Galactic UN has highlighted it views Tiyanki conservation as a 'priority' and states it will address the issue urgently at the 2nd Galactic Conference for the Betterment of the Galactic Ecosystem (GCFTBOTGE) in 14 years time.
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