Chances are, you’ve never heard of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, but it’s one of the rarest critters in the world, and if things continue the way they’re going, it probably won’t be around for much longer.
Boaz Frankel is a TV/video producer, writer, and Guinness World Record Holder from Portland, Oregon. Ever since he heard that the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle only lives within the city limits of Lincoln, Nebraska; and that at the last count there were only 200 of these special beetles left on the planet, he’s dreamed of making a short documentary to raise awareness about their plight.
“This past summer I went back to Lincoln during the few weeks a year that the beetles spend above ground to see them for myself and talk with entomologists, journalists, Fish and Wildlife employees, and even developers who’ve been building on the beetle’s habitat,” Frankel says on his project’s Kickstarter page.
Read the project details and watch a short clip from the film-in-progress!
“It’s a fascinating story that became more and more complicated with each new person I talked to. What will happen if the tiny beetle goes extinct? Does the beetle serve a purpose? What does it really mean when an animal gets on the endangered species list? How do you find the balance between development and conservation? These are some of the questions I try to answer in the film.”
Frankel is asking for $3,000 in donations to stage an elementary school pageant about the life cycle, trials, and tribulations of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle complete with kids, homemade beetle costumes, and even musical numbers.
Right now, the project has raised $2,796 and has 13 days to raise the last $204. That means even $5 makes a difference (and gets you a beetle gift!)
Update March 22, 8:42 am MST: This post went live last night around 10 pm, and when I checked today, the $3,000 goal had already been surpassed! Thanks to everyone who contributed. If you haven’t yet, please check out the project anyway, and help if you can!
“All the funds I raise will go towards the production of the pageant which would include building sets and costumes, paying musicians, rental fees, and buying snacks and treats to keep all those kids occupied,” says Frankel. “Additionally, the money will go towards entry fees for film festivals. I’ll film the pageant portion of the film in April, finish editing in May/June, and have the film ready to send out to festivals in early summer.”
Image Credit: DrShigley.com