Since 2011, groups in the UK and from around the world have been meeting on the last day of November to hold memorials for extinct species. Remembrance Day for Lost Species is driven by a growing coalition of artists, art educators, celebrants and writers, and is coordinated by the One Network for Conservation and the Arts (ONCA).
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported in its Living Planet report that Earth has lost half its wildlife over the course of the last 40 years. However, worse is yet to come as the impacts of climate change and habitat loss may result in the so-called “Sixth Mass Extinction” of plants and animal species.
In their 2014 series, the organizers aimed at establishing Remembrance Day for Lost Species as a well-known fixture in the cultural calendar, by creating rituals that mourned and commemorated lost species and by raising awareness on what remains.
“Telling extinction stories on Remembrance Day for Lost Species is important not only as a way of keeping their memory alive, but as an opportunity to honor and grieve for what has been lost at our collective hands.” – Persephone Pearl, ONCA Coordinator