Squirrels might have to get even better at storing up food for winter, because humans are after their stash. The Telegraph reports that, due to multiple recent scientific studies touting the health benefits of acorns, human consumption of the nut has risen within the past few years—but this poses a serioius threat to the squirrel populations in areas where acorns are harvested for culinary use.
It’s such an issue that Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, has formed a group of “Acorn Rangers” protecting local oaks from being depleted of their superfood. One 2018 wildlife study cited by the Telegraph found that South Korea’s squirrel population has declined 30 percent in the last decade, a statistic that could have implications for other nations where acorn demand is on the rise. If anyone wants to start an American chapter of the Acorn Rangers, now is probably the time.