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Blogger Profile

David Manly
Freelance Science Journalist
Toronto Ontario CAN

David Manly is a freelance journalist who will blog about a wide range of topics that all fall under the umbrella of zoology and ecology. While his expertise lies with reptiles and amphibians, he has a wide array of knowledge and interest in all animal species - from the sponge to the great ape. He hopes you will enjoy his blog, as he plans to make it both entertaining and enjoyable (as well as fill it with interesting facts, tidbits, photos and videos).

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

First off, happy 2011 to one and all! I hope this year started off well for everyone, and that it continues to do so.

Last week, I stumbled upon a book that stopped me dead in my tracks, and it takes a lot for me to stop doing whatever I’m doing (I’m a great multitasker). And yet, this book struck a cord with me, and I felt that I should share with other people interested in such a topic.

What inspired me was this video, embedded below. Before you read the rest of this post, take a seat and watch the video.

RARE from Joel Sartore on Vimeo.

The premise for the book is very simple – showcase some of the most endangered animals in America before they are gone forever. Film can be erased, negatives can be destroyed, but books scattered across the world have a chance to survive and to be shown long after these animals are gone.

The book is entitled, “RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species” by Joel Sartore. You can find the website for the book here and even follow him on Twitter!

Sartore’s essay in the foreword of the book explains his process:

“By photographing the most endangered of our plants and animals, I can make the most dramatic plea to get folks to stop and take a look at the pieces and parts that we’re throwing away. Putting [the animals] on black or white backgrounds gives all equal weight and consideration, from snail to sea turtle.”

Some of the pictures are breathtaking, and showcase the a wide variety of species – from the bald eagle and red wolf, to the Delhi sands flower-loving fly and the last Columbian Basin pygmy rabbit just a few months before she died.

It forces you to take a look at yourself, and just how fragile a habitat can be.

I’m not telling you this to feel guilty, but just to raise awareness that more than just polar bears and peregrine falcon’s are in trouble. Every species has merit, be it an animal, plant, or invertebrate.

Sartore sums it up wonderfully in his closing comments, and I can think of no better way to end this post.

“The goal is to show that there is beauty, grace, and value in every species.”


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Wow. I've never seen a movie of an Armadillo. Pretty impressive.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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I see dead armadillos every day :(

David, don't make me read another book.  The last "real" book I read was like 5 years ago.  I think it was The Da Vinci Code.  I don't know what it is, but I just couldn't ever get into reading for fun after high school.  I think all of the forced reading of shitty "classics" ruined me.

David Manly
Freelance Science Journalist
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Brian - Have no fear, it's a PICTURE book!

There are essays at the beginning and end (like 3-4 pages long), and the rest are absolutely gorgeous pictures. It's 95% pictures ... you'll like it :)

Thomas Joseph
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Excellent article David, and it moved me to finish up a piece I was writing on biodiversity as well. I think I'm going to grab this book. I don't think many people think of any other species aside from their own ... though to be honest some people can barely scrape by so worrying about bald eagles is the least of their concerns. However, where the impact can be/needs to be made ... at the corporate level, they often turn a blind eye as well ... and that is where we need to exert pressure.

David Manly
Freelance Science Journalist
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Thanks Thomas, and I really enjoyed your piece as well (glad I could help motivate!).

The main problem is, for corporations as well as individuals, out of sight equals out of mind. Grizzly's are big, so are easily noticed and protected, but animals like butterflies or insects are more difficult. If they are not seen, they are often forgotten and eventually lost into the annals of history ...

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I ran over an armadillo once in FL.. I felt really bad about it. It was hiding under my car for warmth I guess... I had no idea.. backed out and ran over it.. :(

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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I only do pop up books.

David Manly
Freelance Science Journalist
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Brian - I'll let you know if the author ever puts out a pop-up version.

Can you spot the endangered Columbian Basin pygmy rabbit behind this bush?

NO! Cause it's extinct .... geez Brian, what a downer book that would be

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