Cover image: Remembrance Day for Lost Species

Remembrance Day for Lost Species

Taking place on 30th November every year.

A chance to explore the stories of extinct and critically endangered species, cultures, lifeways, and ecological communities. 

Updated 6 months ago

Why this topic matters

Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30th, is a chance each year to explore the stories of species, cultures, lifeways and habitats driven extinct by unjust power structures and exploitation, past and ongoing.

It emphasises that these losses are rooted in violent, racist and discriminatory economic and political practices. It provides an opportunity for people to renew commitments to all that remains, and supports the development of creative and practical tools of resistance.

Participate in Remembrance Day for Lost Species by holding – or joining – any kind of memorial to lost species or places. This could take the form of an art project, a procession, lighting a candle, planting a tree, or any kind of action you like.

One of the key points in WWF's 2014 Living Planet Report was that since 1970 (ie: in under two human generations) the populations of vertebrate species have reduced by half. It is likely that worse is to come as climate change and habitat loss, much of these due to human impacts, lead us into what could be the Sixth Mass Extinction. The symbol shown here represents extinction. You can find out more about it on the Extinction Symbol website. The following film clip, 'Toll a bell on Remembrance Day for Lost Species', higlights many of the species that once co-existed with humans, but are now extinct: [embed]https://youtu.be/xT1vp5HfBq4[/embed]

Find out more about species that are under threat, and why, from The Extinction Crisis page at the Center for Biological Diversity; or from some of the 'Threats to Biodoversity' topics on the Arkive website. Students could take the opportunity offered by this Day to learn about different extinct species, create art or written work about them, and hold a memorial ceremony in class or as a whole school. You can find examples on the ONCA Gallery website and The Remembrance Day for Lost Species Facebook page. Taking Action: The Arkive website has suggestions for 'How You Can Help' save endangered species. More teaching resources: Browse through resources on the topic of Biodiversity or Conservation.