MALIBU, Calif. – You may have seen Forrest Galante on Animal Planet's hit show Extinct or Alive, where he travels the world looking for evidence that animals declared extinct may actually still be out there.
"If my research leads me to believe that it's still there, then I'll launch a full-scale expedition to try to uncover the species, and if we do, that will unlocks all kind of funding and finance for the animal," said Galante.
As crazy as this sounds, he has found them, five of them so far to be exact.
Rewriting natural history is a lot of fun for Galante, but today, on a rare occasion that he is not traveling, he is taking a moment to explore Point Dume, where he shows off a handy survival skill.
"If you're ever stranded out in the ocean, and you're running out of voice, you can take a piece of kelp like this, bite off the end of it, and make a kelp whistle," said Galante.
Survival is important in Malibu as wildfires have affected the wildlife. In 2018 more than one million and a half acres burned during the Woolsey Fire and thousands of animals were displaced.
"It gets moved out of its natural habitat and into our backyards and into homes. We have other species that don't have the ability to outrun fire that are becoming more and more endangered, and becoming more and more rare and their habitat is shrinking," Galante said.
Globally, wildfires are threatening ecosystems. Like in Australia, where one billion animals have been caught in the blaze and some may go extinct because of their scorched habitats, which ultimately affects humans.
"If we don't care as docents of this planet, if we don't care about the wildlife that inhabits it, then we are going to lose entire ecosystems that support human beings and support not just them on a level of survival, but their well-being as well," said Galante.
But Galante says for anyone who is interested in conservation, there are plenty of organizations that all need help.
"It doesn't matter if you can donate $1, or an hour of your time or a lot more than that they'll all be happy to have you," said Galante
And for Galante, he knows the greatest impact he can make in conversation is through his show Extinct or Alive.
"As a biologist, my overall mission is to inspire the next generation of people to care about saving the planet," said Galante.
And the animals that live here.