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100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save…

100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save Earth's Most Endangered Species

by Jeff Corwin

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100 Heartbeats Club is what conservationists call species that are so endanger of extinction that there are less than 100 individuals left in the wild. In this book, Jeff Corwin gives the reader an overview of some of the major causes of species extinction and endangerment and provides the reader with examples and case study to illustrate the challenges. Despite the title of the book, Corwin does not focus on species that are members of the 100 Heartbeats Club, although he does mention a few. I would recommend this book to someone that wants to know something about endangered species conservation who does not already know a lot about it. I studied endangered species conservation in college and graduate school, so there was nothing new or interesting for me in the book. Most of the animals (he does not discuss any plants) are those whose story I am already familiar with and the issues he addresses (climate change, pollution, habitat loss, human population growth, etc.) are those I already know a lot about. However, it is presented in a clear and interesting way that those without my background in conservation biology would get a lot out of. I did like that in each section, at least one of the stories is a tentative success story where the species population is improving. It is nice that the message isn't all doom and gloom. Overall, for me it was just OK, but others would probably learn a lot from the book. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
Released in conjunction with the msnbc special of the same title, the book effectively details the situations of many animals in crisis in this Sixth Great Extinction period we're in (the Fifth was the dinosaurs, but unlike all previous mass extinctions, this one has come on much faster and is almost exclusively the result of the actions of one other species newly on the scene: humankind. Stories of tragedy, stories of hope, stories of extraordinary animals and the extraordinary people trying to save them, Corwin is ardent in conveying the urgency of the situation. The title comes from a reference in an article to the "100 heartbeat club"--these are the desperately endangered species with 100 or fewer members, literally 100 heartbeats away from extinction. Of all the horrific and hopeful stories here, the one that stays with me as most emblematic of the impending tragedy is the sorrowful tale in chapter one of the last heath hen. Each spring the residents would hear "Booming Ben" repeatedly uttering his loud mating call into what was left of his great outdoors and receiving no reply. For five years, he called. Then he too went silent. The last heart of the species had stopped beating. ( )
1 vote beaujoe | Nov 28, 2009 |
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Conservationist Jeff Corwin provides an urgent portrait of the wildlife that is teetering on the brink of extinction. From the forests slipping away beneath the stealthy paws of the Florida panther, to the giant panda's plight to climb ever higher in the mountains of China in search of sustenance, to the brutal poaching tactics that have devastated Africa's rhinoceros and elephant populations, Corwin takes readers on a global tour to witness firsthand the critical state of our natural world. Along the way, he shares inspiring stories of battles being waged and won in defense of the earth's most threatened creatures by the conservationists on the front lines. These stories of hope and progress underscore an important message: Our own survival, as well as that of the world's wildlife, is in our hands. The race to save the planet's most endangered wildlife is under way. Every heartbeat matters.--From publisher description.… (more)

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