LOST SPECIES DAY
Initiated in 2011, Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30th (LOST SPECIES DAY) offers a chance to explore the stories of extinct and critically endangered species, cultures, lifeways, and ecological communities. LOST SPECIES DAY is an opportunity to make or renew commitments to all who remain. Activities may include participation in hands-on ecological regeneration.
As a day of ritual and remembrance, participation is not about financial compensation but about service, honoring everyone’s contribution, grieving losses, and giving for the benefit of the community.
Since 2014, EXTINCTION WITNESS is one in a growing coalition of artists, educators, museum curators, scientists and writers forwarding LOST SPECIES DAY. Participation has included Bell Ringing for Joy Giving (2015 and 2016), Generative Memorial designation (2017) and Pollinator Procession (2017).
LOST SPECIES DAY 2019
“The crane only went extinct in late medieval times…
Cranes were once so prevalent [in Ireland] that their Irish name
‘corr’ is recorded in hundreds of place names, such as ‘Curragh’
or ‘crane meadow’ in Co Kildare.”
—Séamus Sweeney, Extinct in Ireland*, September 30th, the crane
Rather than focus on a particular species, LOST SPECIES DAY 2019 invites celebration of ways that humans have named, appreciated, and co-existed with human and other-than-human kin.
LOST SPECIES DAY 2019 aims in part to highlight indigenous knowledge and the role of traditional practices in ecological stewardship. Today’s popular and/or scientific names of now-extinct and endangered species were generally given as part of colonization. Many of these animals and plants were already known and named. What are their original names?
For more about LOST SPECIES DAY, including a list of past themes and events, and options for participating in LOST SPECIES DAY 2019, please visit the LOST SPECIES DAY website.
*In September 2018, Séamus Sweeney wrote each day about a species extinct in Ireland. Here is a list of all the posts: September 2018 Extinct in Ireland