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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Discover the world's most endangered species

This weekend I stumbled upon a site called ARKive, a multimedia guide to the world's endangered species. These animals probably won't be in your house or backyard, but that doesn't make them any less interesting.

From the site:
"By revealing what these species look like, how they behave and what makes them special, we are aiming to shine the spotlight on the many thousands of endangered species, thereby raising their public profile and, ultimately, helping to ensure their conservation."

And boy does their spotlight show some pretty cool stuff!

The photography on the site is amazing. The animals look like they were plucked from a Dr Seuss book and brought to life.

By clicking on the "Explore" drop down menu at the top of the page, you can select a type of animal, plant or fungi to browse. That will take you to an alphabetical list of the animals/plants/fungi in their database. Each species' page is an encyclopedic entry detailing biological information, and may include professionally taken photos and videos.

The Afghan tortoise's page, for example, lists facts, status, description, range, habitat, biology, threats, conservation and further resources to consult, as well as six photos and one video. The species' pages also include glossaries when terms that may be unfamiliar to the site's visitors.

ARKive is also searching for the "most wanted" endangered species -- those that are the most endangered. Photographs of these species do not exist, and if they aren't taken soon, we will never know what they look like. They're looking for your help in locating these species, taking photos and just learning about them. You can even send e-cards of the "most wanted" to your friends and family.

Think you'll be photographing an endangered species? Have a kid who's doing a report for school? Just like to look at photos of interesting animals? This site is educational, interesting and neat -- time well spent on the Internet.

--Cheryl Sadler

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