Taking The Sting Out: An Interview with Scorpion Conservationist Matt Ellerbeck

There is perhaps no “bug” as feared — and misunderstood — as the scorpion. Though scorpions are relatively harmless and non-confrontational creatures, they face a surprising amount of persecution and are maligned for many ill-informed reasons. Scorpion conservationist Matt Ellerbeck gives us a different view, appreciating the scorpions in their own right and debunking the myriad myths that surround them. We discuss some of the more bizarre ways that scorpions are exploited (from being bred to appear in film, or being pickled in liquour) as well as some of the larger implications of scorpion exploitation for ecosystems as a whole.

Matt Ellerbeck is a scorpion conservationist, conservation educator, and arachnoculturist who has given numerous educational presentations on animal conservation throughout the Kingston, Ontario area. Some highlights include presentations for the Kingston Field Naturalists, the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, St. Lawrence Islands National Park, and Environmental Education students at Queen’s University. He has also written several articles on scorpions which have been published in numerous environmental and conservation-related publications. He is a member of Creatures 101, a group that specializes in giving both educational and informative presentations on animal conservation.

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