Hello, everyone! Welcome to Rewildology, the podcast that explores conservation, travel, and rewilding the planet. I’m your host Brooke Mitchell-Norman, conservation biologist and adventure traveler.
At this point, we’re all well aware that we’re in a mass extinction event. Biodiversity is declining at accelerating rates and it seems harder and harder to put the brakes on this runaway train.
In the face of climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, Chytrid fungus, and more, amphibians are having the toughest go in recent years. The IUCN, or the International Union for Conservation of Nature, states that 40% of all amphibians are threatened with extinction. That’s freaking nuts! Clearly, most species in this highly important group will disappear if we don’t intervene. Luckily for Australia’s amphibians and reptiles, one man and his team are working diligently to save and reintroduce species back into the wild.
In this episode, I’m chatting with Michael McFadden, reintroduction biologist and head of the Herpetofauna department at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. For years, Michael has been rescuing, propagating, and reintroducing endangered amphibian and reptile species back into the Australian bush. His work is as rewarding as it is difficult, and he shares his many years of experience with us – all the highs, lows, and surprises.
This week’s question:
What are the biggest threats to nature in your area? What rewilding projects are proposed or underway to reverse habitat loss and ecosystem degradation?
I’d love to hear your answer. Comment below, send me an email or post your comment on the Rewildologists Community Facebook Group!
Alright, everyone. Here is my conversation with Michael.
Key Takeaways & Highlights
🐸 Michael’s childhood growing up loving snakes and reptiles
🐸 Why most amphibians and some reptiles in Australia are not doing so hot
🐸 How Michael’s team selects species to rescue
🐸 When it is decided to release captive-bred populations back into the wild
🐸 The biggest issues Australia’s nature is facing
🐸 How Michael feels these issues can be mitigated
🐸 Michael’s hope and optimism for the future
Links & Resources
Michael’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maccaswildlifeshots/
Rebound from Extinction with Michael McFadden – Taronga Talks: https://taronga.org.au/get-involved/taronga-talks/episode-5
Taronga Conservation Society Australia: https://taronga.org.au/
Taronga’s Zoo Conservation Efforts: https://taronga.org.au/conservation-and-science/our-contribution
You can reach Michael by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Check out other Rewildology Episodes.
Ep. 40 Show Notes | Raptors, Education & Falconry: The Bird Conservation Trifecta with Devin Jaffe
Ep. 39 Show Notes | Saving the Elephants of Laos with Michael Vogler
Ep. 38 Show Notes | The Snow Leopard: Conserving Himalayas’ Phantom Apex Predator with Rinzin Lama