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...and now I want to hug an armadillo.
June 4, 2012 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species is a short video featuring close-up wildlife footage by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore.
posted by quin (18 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
No offense but that giant centipede gave me the willies.
posted by stormpooper at 7:26 AM on June 4, 2012


Something that I have never really gotten about the Smithsonian National Zoo here in Washington is that in it's collections of rare and highly endangered species (which we love to visit, and they do good work, don't get me wrong) is why there is so little focus on North American species. Not to sound all Teapartying and Jingosistic, but wouldn't you think that a National Zoo would have more responsibility to preserve the biodiversity of the nation it serves first and foremost? They spent millions on a new elephant preserve in the middle of the city and millions go to 24/7 monitoring of the vitals and love life of a couple of borrowed pandas, but they don't have a single large North American mammal. How about a polar bear or some wolves? How about the friggin' Hay Spring Anphipod that's only known remaining habitat is now a zoo drainage ditch? Would that be too much for our tax dollars?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:33 AM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Many fascinating animals to watch in the video, but so very odd that the subjects are not actually America's Endangered Species. Opens with an Armadillo (not endangered), and then digresses further to African hedgehogs and chameleons.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:36 AM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Featuring North American endangered species would lead directly to questions about why they're endangered. Which would lead to conflicting thoughts and questions about our society and the decisions made by our governments and the corporations that own them. I'm not even sure that an idea for a program like that would ever make it out of a programming committee, much less to a budgeting discussion or to a grant ask.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:57 AM on June 4, 2012


As cute and cuddly as they are, I would be careful about actually hugging an armadillo. They are one of the few animals that carry leprosy.
posted by pharaohmagnetic at 7:59 AM on June 4, 2012


Pandas bring in a ton of money.
posted by inigo2 at 7:59 AM on June 4, 2012


Also, his book this video was promoting is amazing.
posted by inigo2 at 8:02 AM on June 4, 2012


Pandas bring in a ton of money.

I'm not sure that the revenues from the panda trinkets outweighs the costs of maintaining the habitat, which is why the "David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat" is part of the "Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat and Asian Trails" expansion. So, if by bring in a ton of money, you mean they got corporate sponsorship in order to cover some of the costs, then yes, but they certainly arent making it up on the price of admission.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:09 AM on June 4, 2012


Featuring North American endangered species would lead directly to questions about why they're endangered. Which would lead to conflicting thoughts and questions about our society and the decisions made by our governments and the corporations that own them. I'm not even sure that an idea for a program like that would ever make it out of a programming committee, much less to a budgeting discussion or to a grant ask.

I would be much more likely to put stock in this theory if I thought the target audience for that video had any idea whether those species are American or not. The first image in the video is the cover, which has a wolf on it. I'm not sure this is quite what's going on.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:09 AM on June 4, 2012


I'm not sure that the revenues from the panda trinkets outweighs the costs of maintaining the habitat, which is why the "David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat" is part of the "Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat and Asian Trails" expansion.

Well yes, corporate sponsorship is some of the money I was referring to. Why wouldn't it be? Historically panda exhibits have brought more people to the zoo than would otherwise go.
posted by inigo2 at 8:24 AM on June 4, 2012


Many fascinating animals to watch in the video, but so very odd that the subjects are not actually America's Endangered Species. Opens with an Armadillo (not endangered), and then digresses further to African hedgehogs and chameleons.

I found that very confusing as well. If it's called "America's Endangered Species" one would really expect the species to be 1) American and 2) Endangered. Does anyone know if the armadillo is some type that is endangered? Because my understanding is that your common armadillos (nine banded) are not only not endangered, they are thriving and expanding their range northward.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:35 AM on June 4, 2012


The video was nice, but if you're going to call your video "America's Endangered Species" you should make it a video of that. Personally, I was really distracted by having to check the title again, and just wondering, WTF?

If a project like this is to have a meaningful impact, it has to be accurate. If the video is clearly mislabeled, who wouldn't assume that whatever it is promoting is equally flawed or fraudulent. Also, why make something like this without at least listing the names of the species featured?

Overall, I get the impression of something with no scientific or conservationist merits.
posted by snofoam at 10:57 AM on June 4, 2012


More portraits from Sartore's website of America's endangered species. His work is amazing. I liked the PBS documentary about him, At Close Range.
posted by Anitanola at 11:03 AM on June 4, 2012


Double-ish.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:20 AM on June 4, 2012


(And bald eagles still aren't endangered, Joel.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:26 AM on June 4, 2012


I would be much more likely to put stock in this theory if I thought the target audience for that video had any idea whether those species are American or not. The first image in the video is the cover, which has a wolf on it. I'm not sure this is quite what's going on.

I'm gonna go ahead and assume that's a red wolf.

It would be nice to know for sure, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:29 AM on June 4, 2012


The gallery here has captions that confirm that the wolf is, indeed, a red wolf.
posted by bardophile at 5:06 AM on June 5, 2012


Nailed it!

Of course, further down that same page with "RARE: PORTRAITS OF AMERICA'S ENDANGERED SPECIES" in allcaps, he's got a picture of a not-remotely-endangered grey wolf.

Maybe it's there because it's unusual to find one in the US these days? Still wrong. (Alaska is a thing.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:53 AM on June 5, 2012


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