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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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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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