Since 2011, groups in the UK and internationally have met on the last day of November to hold memorials for extinct species. Over the past decade the Lost Species Day project has evolved, with its advocates hoping for it to serve as an opportunity to learn about and respond to structural oppression and inequity, as well as being a recurring space for contemplating biodiversity loss and emotions arising from this.

RDLS 2011 saw ceremonies for the Great Auk (d.1844) and vigils for missing butterflies

RDLS 2012: Artists in Brighton held a procession for the Caribbean Monk Seal

RDLS 2013: Some organisers focused on threatened and extinct amphibians

RDLS 2014 saw a number of centenary memorials to the Passenger Pigeon (extinct 1914)

RDLS 2015: Organisers and participants were invited to toll bells for extinct species

RDLS 2016 marked the 80th anniversary of the extinction of the thylacine in 1936

RDLS 2017 delved into the newly-documented insect population collapses across Europe with a theme of lost and disappearing pollinators.

RDLS 2018’s focal species was Steller’s sea cow, with events marking the extinction and endangerment of marine mammals and/or the ongoing threats to seas and their communities. ONCA hosted an artist residency leading to an exhibition, Some of Us Did Not Die

RDLS 2019: Original Names / Generations

RDLS 2020: Black Lives Matter / Beyond Ruin

RDLS 2021: The theme for the tenth anniversary of Lost Species Day is Interdependence

Burial at sea for the great auk, Brighton 2011

Feral Theatre’s Thylacine Tribute Cabaret, September 2016. Photo: Mari Opmeer

remembering-the-western-black-rhinoChildren remember the Western Black Rhino, Carmarthenshire, 2012

Tree climb for lost lemurs, Glasgow 2016

Ore & Ingot’s mobile foundry. O&R cast the Bell for Lost Species, 2015

solitaireProcession for the Rodrigues Solitaire in Brighton 2012. Photo: Ben Ellsworth

Martha’s Flock, Carmarthen, 2014. Artist Emily Laurens. Photo: Keely Clarke