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Wednesday, July 7, 2004


Site lists humans as endangered

Sun Valley Web site focuses on endangered species

Express Staff Writer

A new, locally based Internet site that focuses on endangered species gives Homo sapiens, sometimes called people, an early warning designation.

"It may be that the species are caught in a chemical and heavy metal trap that already is affecting human sperm count," said Max Casebeau, director of the Sun Valley-based Center for Environmental Education.

The organization announced last week that it is posting a new Internet site called Endangered Species Early Warning at www.esew.org. According to Casebeau, the addition will make his organizationís Internet offerings the largest in the United States.

Casbeau said the center decided to list the human family as a candidate for an early warning designation, principally because of chemical contamination of oceans, lakes, rivers and streams.

But the focus is considerably larger than that, and the effort is about more than alarming people.

The new informational database, which was planed to be online by Friday, July 2, but fell behind schedule, focuses on eight classes of species in North America that Casebeau said are in danger. It integrates the information with habitat and watershed data.

Species will be listed by threatened, endangered and extinct categories. They will also be listed by state and by ecosystem.

According to Casebeau, it will be the only Internet site aimed at relating habitat status to threatened and endangered species.

The United Nations Environment Programme, an organization devoted to improving quality of life without compromising that of future generations, estimates 150 species per day are going extinct, up from a 100 species per day 10 years ago.

"This new Web site will call attention to the situation for threatened and endangered species, and may provide the time needed for those species to recover before itís too late. Endangered Species Act listings are usually too late" Casebeau said.

Casebeauís organization has been maintaining Americaís Threatened Streams and Restoration Strategies, an Internet site that focuses on the countryís water bodies, for years at www.wcei.org.

The Center for Environmental Education claims that it connects with hundreds of middle schools, 12,000 high schools and junior colleges, and 3,400 colleges and universities all over the United States as part of its outreach effort. The organization has been on the Internet since 1992, pioneering Internet environmental education.

CEEI has been nominated three times for having the most important environmental Web site in the country.


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