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100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save Earth's Most Endangered Species Hardcover – October 27, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605298476
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605298474
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Biologist, Emmy Award-winning producer and TV host Corwin discusses polar and panda bears, Florida panthers and Bengal tigers, and other creatures in this valuable, far-reaching look at endangered species and global efforts to save them (published in conjunction with an MSNBC documentary). He begins with recollections of a trip to "the ice-locked village of Kaktovik, 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle," where Corwin joins scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey studying polar bears, the first animals listed as endangered "due to climate change and the resulting shrinking of sea ice." Determined but far from didactic, Corwin hops the globe discussing a range of land and sea animals in immediate danger, but also the people who live among them and work for their preservation. He also highlights success stories: the California condor, for example, "teetered precariously at an estimated 22 birds in 1987," but intensive captive-breeding efforts have helped bring the population to more than 300. Proving that smart, concerted conservation can and does work, Corwin manages to dull the hopelessness and build a strong case for continuing efforts now and in the future. 16 pages of color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Corwin states that the only species capable of saving endangered animals is the one that got them into trouble in the first place—humans. The “100 heartbeats” of the title refers to just how scarce these animals are: each species with 100 or fewer living individuals. Animal Planet star Jeff Corwin looks at the critically endangered and examines what is being done to save them, beginning with a chapter that discusses the broad causes of extinction—global warming and the loss of habitat—and then examines specific threats to endangered species while looking at animals most at risk from these threats. The cats, both big and small, and the giant panda are poster species for habitat loss; Hawaiian honeycreepers and Puerto Rican crested toads suffer from the depredations of introduced alien species; California condors and Chinese alligators contend with pollution of their limited habitat; and illegal hunting and capture for the pet trade doom elephants and many primates. Corwin’s conversational, upbeat style makes readers care about the species in peril. --Nancy Bent

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Customer Reviews

As I stated above, he has written a well researched and objective book.
B. Smawley
Jeff Corwin lets us in on what efforts are being done to secure some of these animals from protection to conservation.
S. J Parker
On the contrary I get the feeling from this book that we could do something if we only act soon.
Geekdomo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. Smawley VINE VOICE on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was familiar with Jeff Corwin only by occasional glimpses of his show on Animal Planet. And based on that exposure I rather thought of him as an entertainer but ordered *100 Heartbeats* anyway because it is about animals. Was I in for a surprise. This book is a well researched, well reasoned exposition on animal extinction -- animals that have already gone extinct, others that are clearly endangered or threatened and those that have been saved or are in the process of being saved. One would wonder how he managed to keep his objectivity after all he has seen but he did IMO.

The book is divided into sections. Part 1 is about global warming and habitat loss. This part is scary since it is so hard to convince some that global warming is even happening. Isn't our earth and its inhabitants too precious to take a chance? How can it hurt to protect all living things--after all, each one has its own purpose. Part 2 is about introduced species, pollution, and disease. This section covers introduced species such as pigs or cats (or man) which once introduced into a system, can decimate local species. Mr. Corwin had numerous examples in the book. He also discusses the affects of pollution and poaching on wildlife. Part 3 is about education vs. exploitation.

Mr. Corwin's encounter with chimps when he visited their sanctuary was funny. He also described a heartbreaking incident about a baby chimp clinging to his mother. I won't say more for those of you who have yet to read the book. He also holds a baby orangutan in his arms, an experience he humanizes. He allows that humans and primates are similar yet different so if I could ask Mr.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jesse D. Walker on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Those who are used to Jeff Corwin through his television programs may be in for something of a surprise... this isn't a funny book, and it's not targeted at younger audiences. Corwin comes across as an experienced conservation biologist, and presents a lot of scientific data along with his personal experiences. He's a great writer, and easy to follow, so it's hard to put the book down (a little unusual for a "science" book). I really enjoyed reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew A. Bille on July 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I thought of Corwin as a good TV host and knowledgeable zoologist and didn't know he was also a good writer. In this book, he writes movingly of his experiences with some of the world's rarest wildlife. (The title refers to the "100 Heartbeats Club" - the species with less than 100 known survivors.)
Corwin mainly organizes the book, not by animal type, but by the type of threats - pollution, habitat loss, etc. From this structure, he recounts his own experiences and plenty of important reports and statistics. He covers some causes and effects we might not always think of, like what the popularity of plastic wine corks means for the Spanish lynx. One anecdote that stands out to me is his almost spiritual chance encounter with a Florida panther ("It broke through the leaves and, seemingly in slow motion, floated to the ground. It was darker than the panthers I'd seen in photos, more charcoal than sage..." )
There are stories of hope here, too. I knew the Mauritius kestrel had just barely been saved from extinction, but I did not know the International Council for Bird Preservation had acutally given up on this raptor - they sent a scientist to shut down their conservation effort, and he found a way to revive it instead. Corwin's account of a Ugandan army officer who saved a wounded chimp he could have sold is as heartwarming as his tale of the Tasmanian tiger's extinction is grim. (The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, is a favorite of mine: I wrote in my book Shadows of Existence (Hancock, 2006) that a few living ones might linger, but Corwin seems sure they do not, although he expresses guarded, perhaps wistful, hope about the idea of resurrecting it someday from its DNA.)
Corwin ends by asking everyone to look around for ways they can contribute to conservation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The future looks bleak." "When we put the survival of the natural world in jeopardy, we simultaneously put our survival in jeopardy." Jeff Corwin impresses on us how important it is to save as much of the animal kingdom as possible, from the cute, cuddly looking ones, such as the giant panda, to the venomous rattlesnake. Each species plays an important role in the ecosystem. Corwin hopes that his book "will serve as a catalyst, educating people about the state of our natural world and compelling them to help protect it for future generations." He truly believes we can succeed.

Some of the stories recounted in this book brought tears to my eyes. A two year-old calf, baby elephant, was found standing in 3" of her slaughtered mother's blood and fluids, not wanting to leave her, "even though her mama was bloated and reeking of death." Her mother's face and trunk had been cut off by poachers. The calf will stay and starve to death or a lion will get her. Corwin goes on to explain that elephants are very dependent on a mother's touch. They're highly emotional, capable of despondency and joy. He tells of his experience with an orphaned, 3 month-old calf. His job for the night was to bed down with the 350lb. calf, close enough so the calf could touch him. In the middle of the night, he felt a knocking on his back. The calf was having a nightmare. When he shielded the calf's eyes from the oil lamp's light, the calf's trunk slowly relaxed and his breathing softened. As the calf drifted off to sleep, he started twisting a lock of Corwin's hair with the tip of his trunk. Corwin explained that the tip of an elephant's trunk is more sensitive than a human finger.

Ikuru's plight began with the bushmeat trade which has reached epidemic portions in Africa.
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