I was recently asked by someone this very serious question that I don't believe enought people ask in today's fast paced world of ultra-balls and full restores.
"Hey HolyTomato, what happened to Pikachu?"
The answer is actually a heart wrenching tale not to often told anymore.
Back in generation 1 Pikachu gained national attention for it's cute demeanor and soft velvety pelt. While there wasn't a hunting issue yet, as time passed people started noticing how plush and cushy Pikachu skin fur was. By generation 2, all of the major clothing lines had started incorporating Pikachu skin into their fall and spring fashion lines. Pikachu craze had hit the mainstream populous and it showed no signs of slowing down. Every boy, girl, man, woman, and even tranny wanted pikachu coating their favorite possessions, and they wanted it bad. As with all animal based merchandising, there was a small but nevertheless loud opposition from PETP (People for the Ethical Treatment of Pokemon) but since their views went against the grain of everything modern society was built on (using Pokemon for sport, labor, and sexual toys) no one paid any real attention to them. That of course led us to the great fur war of generation 3. While most trainers were busy defending the world from Team Magma and Team Aqua, a small war was going on between the Pikachu fur companies. The demand exceeded the supply and pretty soon the companies were hiring black ops teams to go and poach an unprecedented amount of pikachu skins (some reports estimate anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 Pikachu skins were taken each month) This stayed unreported for a while, but by generation 4 Lavender tower was reporting capacity do to all of the dead pikachu that were being dropped off. Naturally the media had a field day with this and soon a full scale investigation of the fur companies and all of the products made from the fur they harvested was started. This brought the worlds attention to the plight of the Pikachu but unfortunately it was too late. A field study made reported that there were only 20-50 Pikachu left in the wild. These remaining Pokemon were immediately put into protective custody of wildlife preserves and zoos, leaving the Pikachu extinct in the wild. Even today, black market poachers pay trainers with existing Pikachus caught before the genocide handsomely for the skins, which are then turned into anything from lamp shades to seat covers.
That my friends is the plight of the pikachu, once adored by millions, turned from mascot of a movement to a capitalist commodity to matyr of a cause it never chose to be a part of. Even today, this near wipe out of an entire species is barely covered in poke-history classes. You need to take the initiative and spread this story to all you know, don't let this horrendous tragedy get lost in the history books, almost guaranteeing a future repeat of this.