Remembrance day for lost species

Have you ever heard about Zanzibar leopard, Pyrenean Ibex, Black Rhinoceros, Javan Tiger, Baiji River Dolphin or Caribbean Monk Seal? Probably not. All these species have become extinct during past 40 years. Experts calculated that from 0.01% to 0.1% of creatures will become extinct every year. If it doesn’t sound so frightening, keep in mind that there are around 2 mln species in the world. And the speed of dying out now is 1000-10000 times higher than the natural extinction level (extinction without human or climate change influences). Previously human actions were the biggest problem for animals and plants, now the climate change impact as dangerous as hunting extermination.

According to WWF there are 19 species which are critically endangered, 28 are endangered and 20 are vulnerable. Remembrance day of lost species the initiative, driven by coalition of artists, educators, scientists and writers, is held annually on 30 November, aiming to learn and tell stories of lost species.

Since 2011 groups of people concerned about the topic, get together on the last day of November to hold memorials such as: burial at sea and funeral pyres in coastal Wales and Scotland in memory for Great Auk; lighting candles for disappeared indigenous butterflies in Belgium; procession with paper flags for the Caribbean Monk Seal and others.

You can join or organise an event and draw society’s attention to the problem of disappearance of species. Check the website of Lost species day and remember that some things which were once lost you can never get back.