Noticed this story in Millikin University’s Decaturian. Wonderful for the Amphibian Ark cause that Jeff Corwin is so passionate about amphibians:

Every 10 years, over 200 species of amphibians become extinct. In Illinois alone, 13 species have found themselves moving off the endangered list into total extinction. In the South—particularly Florida and Mississippi—exotic animals that have been previously domesticated, are being abandoned in inner-city areas, left to fend for themselves where it is impossible to find food and shelter.

Although this is only a small piece of the world’s biological struggle, devastation stems from the northern part of Alaska to the rainforests in the Congo River Basin of Africa. Because of the magnitude of this struggle, people are under the impression that if they can’t save the world, then they shouldn’t help the cause.

“There is an overall apathy when it comes to protecting the environment,” conservationist Jeff Corwin said. “There are things that everyone can do to help our planet. The average person produces five pounds on non-biodegradable waste per day. Things like this can be avoided.”

Corwin’s April 27 presentation, “Tales from the Field,” reiterated the necessity for biological and ecological awareness. Corwin is the host of Animal Planet’s “The Jeff Corwin Experience” and also a recent CNN special, “Planet in Peril,” where he discussed the world’s environmental problems, according to Corwin’s official biography. Through his demonstration and question-and-answer session, he allowed the audience to be face-to-face with amphibians and reptiles, a situation many audience members may have been unfamiliar with. Corwin described the habitats, defensive mechanisms, feeding patterns and predator and prey relationships of a cane toad, alligator snapping turtle, water monitor, albino alligator and Burmese python.

Corwin requested the aid of audience members to help him showcase the animals. While an audience member would hold the amphibian or reptile, Corwin would discuss the biological history of each. However, the history of the alligator snapping turtle proved to be a mystery for Corwin. “We know very little about this species, particularly how long they have been in existence to even how many years they live.”

Corwin also addressed deforestation and the destruction of many rainforests. The Amazon rainforest covers over 50 percent of Brazil and is home to more than 30 percent of the world’s ecosystems, but a fraction of the land has been destroyed, Corwin said.

Also, today’s children failing to be hands-on and environmentally aware is a cause for concern. “My best experiences were when I was a child and my dad would take me out exploring,” Corwin said. “I think children really need to get outside, just explore their own backyard and really focus on the natural resources. This was the catalyst for love for animals and the environment.”

You can watch Corwin’s new series, “Into Alaska,” on the Travel Channel.

 

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