Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


May 03, 2008

Jesse Rothacker

President - Forgotten Friend, Inc.

Today’s Date: 7 April 2008

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

Hard to narrow it down to one experience, but generally finding and photographing reptiles and amphibians in the wild is the greatest impact for me. Timber rattlesnakes, vern pools full of amphibs and eggs, gators in the south, hognoses playing dead, red efts dotting the forest floor with brilliant orange, bald eagles soaring, beavers chopping up branches and swimming back to the dam with them....amazing!

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

Not really. Didn't see the wild much when I lived in suburban Orange County, CA. But I was captivated by wild lizards and other herps, like most boys.

Now? I definitely have a few favorite spots, but it's hard to narrow down. Ohiopyle, PA has the rapids and beautiful surrounding area. A couple spots around PA are full of herps and great for exploring. My wife always gets annoyed when we walk the dogs because I have to check under rocks and logs :)

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is and why?

Can't claim a favorite, but if I had to choose only one reptile species to keep it would be my sulcatta tortoises. It is amazing getting up in the morning and watching their routine. They wake up cold and stretch out in the sun. Then they warm up after basking for a little bit, and start moving. Then they walk the yard and graze all day long, sometimes interacting with each other. They take a siesta when it's too hot, and stir again in the late afternoon. It is fascinating to watch them and care for them, and it helps me gain a better understanding of the way reptiles spend their days; how simple they are, and also how complex they are.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Habitat loss for sure. We have huge human populations that continue to grow, and they have to live somewhere. I think many people understand the fact that we need to appreciate and conserve wildlife. But when people need a place to live, they are going to continue building. I think habitat loss will continue to be our biggest challenge (I'm still not 100% sold on man-made global warming).

5. If you could give one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Our wild resources are NOT INVINCIBLE just because they've been here for thousands of years. Treat them like a valuable bank account or mutual fund. Know that you must invest and protect your assets wisely if you want to see them grow and expand. If you don't pay careful attention to your funds, you will go BROKE, and the same is true with our wild resources.

No comments:

Post a Comment