Amur Leopard – Critically Endangered
To understand the premise of what we’re doing here, please read my post A Remembrance of Personalities.
The burgeoning artist in the family, my youngest daughter, drew this stylized version of these Amur Leopards displayed above and discussed very briefly below. I went over her mixed media rendering with black ink, then brightened things up a bit in some graphics software. As we decided earlier between us, because it was a collaborative effort, we will both provide our signatures on the result.
If you look closely, you can see 463 separate one- or two-initial abbreviations for the memorized figures names, each person separated from the next by a little dot. They start on the outside of the kittens, then spiral around the two in a tightening circle until the list is finally finished.
We’ll be selling limited editions of these over on my Etsy website. Each one comes signed and numbered, along with a complete list of the personalities involved. We will be donating 10% of all profits gained in this manner to the World Wildlife Fund.
It is only mere coincidence that my daughter and I discovered both a tiger and a leopard on the endangered list with the word ‘Amur’ prefacing their species name. They both roam about in the same general area of the world. The Amur River, like so many others in the world, forms a natural border between two neighboring countries–in this case, Russia and China. Although the tiger is in dire straits, the leopard is caught in some wild, white water rapids of those same dire straits. Between the two, the tiger stands the best chance at continued survival, at least in terms of sheer numbers left in the wild. In fact, when things get really hairy, and the times particularly lean, the tiger, fully capable as the largest of the big cats, has been shown to take the leopard out.
The leopard has the unenviable designation as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the last stop on this list of increasingly ominous designations before a species is considered extinct in the wild. With well less than a hundred known animals left to make their stand in a very small and fragmented swath of land, and with adverse health signs of inbreeding all about, things couldn’t get much worse for this incredibly beautiful animal.
In my post Entropecology back in December of last year, I mentioned the personality of Jeremy Rifkin, a man who, after reading his book Entropy: A New World View, considerably influenced how I would perceive the world around me from then on.
Rifkin had already written several books prior to that one, and has continued writing prolifically since. All of them deal with very weighty subject matter, including many that either directly or indirectly overlap with the issues we’ve discussed ad nauseum in this evolving blog of mine. I’ve always greatly admired writers who can enlighten me, broaden my horizons, lift the veil from things I thought I understood but actually did not. This is classic Rifkin, consistently, over the years, shining penetrating lights down on incredibly controversial and important topics, including political, social, economic, scientific, and philosophical areas of conversation. As a globe-trotting economist with considerable reputation and clout, he continues to be an influential voice in the economic policies of other countries, including China and Germany. His current focus revolves around working with the world’s economies as they implement principles, such as sustainability and renewability, he outlines in his Third Industrial Revolution.
Connect the Dots? The obvious connections here between an endangered species, such as this leopard, and Mr. Rifkin would be his life’s efforts of bringing to light, through continuous authorship of prescient works of literature, the predicament the planet finds itself in as a result of humanity’s careless ways, and the animals that suffer the worst as a result of those ways. Rifkin’s subject matter draw a direct path into the fragmented habitats of the world, just like the one the leopard now struggles to survive in. Unfortunately, this direct path is also twisty and multifarious, with vines and thorns and dark shadowy places. You can basically plot your trek from any of a hundred different points and they’ll all lead you, one way or another, to the same undesirable spot…a troubled place we’ll call 21st Century Earth.
Sincere Thanks for stopping by!