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The Race to Save Earth’s Most Endangered Species Essay

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Jeff Corwin has been working for wildlife conservation from a very young age. He is a wildlife biologist, an Emmy Award-winning producer and host of several television series on Discovery, Animal Planet, Disney, The Food Network, NBC, CNN and the Travel Channel. He has also written Living on the Edge and the Jeff Corwin Explorers Series. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and anthropology from Bridgewater State College and a Master of Science degree in wildlife and fisheries conservation from the University of Massachusetts. He founded EcoZone, a museum in Massachusetts.


Jeff Corwin’s 100 Heartbeats is a book on the existing endangered species in this world. It presents the very grim truth about endangered animals that eventually become extinct, and sprinkles a little hope for them as Jeff Corwin presents reason and solutions for the said problem. All in all, the book is a presentation of facts about endangered species and what we, as human beings and animals alike, are doing that puts them into this very alarming predicament. Several animals, as we know it, are growing into this category we’d call ‘endangered’. To become ‘endangered’ an animal species would have to have a 50% population loss in over 3 generations or 10 years. A more dangerous situation would be a species be ‘critically endangered’, wherein an animal species would have lost an unbelievably high percentage of 80% in over 3 generations or 10 years. Some animal populations would even be as low as below 100. But the worst situation would be having a species become ‘extinct’, wherein not a single organism of the species is believed to exist.

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Jeff Corwin has shared his many personal experiences and encounters with endangered animals as well. Animals like polar bears, tigers, elephants, gorillas and rhinos, dolphins and alligators. He has shared his attempts to save them and he explained their very critical conditions. He has also had adventures with them and had stories to tell about each and every one. Reasons for this happening to animals would be climate change, human overpopulation, habitat loss, pollution, exploitation, and poaching. This is all the doing of us humans. We cause this thing called the Global Warming, caused by greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are caused by several things that we use in our everyday lives that we may not even notice. Global warming is the biggest threat to wildlife today.

“Climate change alone could kill 20 percent, maybe more, of our planet’s species. It’s the first time that one—man—is the catalyst behind all of this”, Corwin says. We may believe that the loss of these animals is of no concern to us, but that is wrong. We fail to remember that we too are animals, and we are part of a very delicate ecosystem. We need animals. When we put them in danger, we too, are in danger. The biodiversity of this world is what keeps it going and if animal endangerment continues to increase, someday, we will become endangered too.

As Jeff Corwin has remarkably said, “I believe that my species doesn’t have the right or option to determine the fate of other species, even ones that inspire fear in us.” “Ironically, the only species capable of saving these animals is the same one that’s responsible for putting them in danger.” Jeff Corwin specifically stated his choice of species in the book; he’s said that the problems were problems we could solve. Since we’ve caused it, we must end it, and we can end it. This is a call of action that the world stop it’s foolish and selfish ways and consider the other organisms affected. “We have the chance to do it, and we can succeed”, Corwin stated, “Every heartbeat matters.”

Book Review

The book was very fascinating. The way Jeff Corwin wrote it was a mix of scientific facts and journalistic approach. It was like reading a story and learning more than you expect. It also differs from other books that present the same types of facts because this book is more of a wakeup call. He specified human activity as the root of all of it and has presented actual, hard, cold facts about its effects on our own species.

Jeff Corwin’s experiences were the most engaging parts of the book. He has done so much to help save the animals and the way he tells his stories shows his passion for these animals and his love for what he does. There were intense moments in his stories and they were very exciting as he brought readers into his adventure.

It can be seen that his facts can be verified. His sources were specifically listed in over 60 pages of bibliography. “The average global temperature rose 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit from 1906 to 2005, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicts there will be an increase of 3.2 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit in this century, depending on how effectively greenhouse gases are curbed.” He sourced this based on a book by the World watch Institute, State of The World 2009: Into a Warming World. From this information it can be derived that his statement is very much true. “According to the National Wildlife Federation, global warming is the most significant threat to wildlife today.” He derived this from an article online, “Global Warming”, by the National Wildlife Federation. It can be noted that he has included his sources in the context in which he stated the facts.

100 Heartbeats can be contrasted with An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, as it inspires the same motivation in a person. They both, in the end, try to solve the problem of global warming. The only difference is that Al Gore focuses on the world and humans, whilst Jeff Corwin relates animals with humans and the world we live in. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an actual beating heart. Reading about the facts and truths about the situation would pain anyone who cares about life in general. I’d recommend it to everyone, actually. I think the book would really help in alarming one of the present bad and the worse future that is to come of these human actions. It is unlike any book that would just tell you to do this and that and make you feel bad but then you’d never really care right after.

This book will really stick because it concerns humans as well. At first finding about the facts is very sad and certain realizations will come, then reading on towards the end of the book showers hope to solutions that we can all take part of and solutions that, get this, actually will work. It’s a very satisfying book that contains excitement and adventure, and a lot of learning. Once read, you wouldn’t even believe the book was scientific. In the end you’d realize, we have failed ourselves because we have failed to protect them. 100 Heartbeats was very inspiring and heart-breaking. It was bittersweet. The fact that we are causing species of large populations to progress into a miniscule population over a short period of time is unbelievably sad. It’s very frightening to think that we ourselves are destroying ourselves because of our own selfish reasons. But it’s also delightful to know we can do something about it.

Animals are important because we are animals too, just a different species. “There’s little in life that’s more disturbing than the sight of a dead rhino flat on its side with a bloody hole in its head where its horn used to be. Or a gorilla that’s been reduced to little more than a stump, its hands and feet having gone the way of its dignity. Or an elephant that’s been stripped of its face and its once-mighty trunk – powerful enough to knock over a tree – to give poachers access to the bases of the tusks. How can we reconcile the moral chasm that lies between a 5,000-pound rhino carcass and a few pounds of harvested horn? It’s difficult not to feel that all of humanity has let these animals down by failing to protect them from our species’ worst impulses.”

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