Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30th, is a chance each year to learn and tell the stories of species driven extinct by human activities, and commit anew to what remains.

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.

Martha’s Flock at the Life Cairn, Mount Caburn 2014. Photos: Robin Taylor

Remembrance Day for Lost Species is driven by a growing coalition of artists, educators, museum curators, scientists and writers (see below). In 2014, WWF-UK reported in its Living Planet report that Earth has lost half its wildlife in the last 40 years. However, worse is to come as climate change and habitat loss are leading us into the Sixth Mass Extinction. Now is the time to create new rituals for remembering and mourning  those we have lost, and for celebrating and making commitments to those remaining.

In light of the recent sharp declines in the population of pollinators, on whose vital environmental contribution so many species (including humans) rely, the focus of Remembrance Day for Lost Species 2017 will be on pollinators. These are animals which move pollen from the male to the female part of a flower, thus fertilising it. Well-known pollinators include bees, butterflies and moths. Certain birds and mammals are also important pollinators, notably bats, hummingbirds and many other animals. Some pollinators such as the small Mauritian flying fox are already extinct at human hands, with swathes of others being critically endangered or feared lost, e.g. Franklin’s bumblebee. Read the 2017 call for artists and participants.

227331_10150181841331836_5909477_nPassenger Pigeon war memorial, Camilla Schofield, 2011. Photo: Rebecca Anson


thylacine-ghost-ii-destructionjpg Thylacine Ghost by Gabbee Stolp

Bombus franklini by Eti Meacock. Photo: Abi Horn

Some coalition members:

  • The Life Cairn, an international group that builds stone cairns as a focus for memorials to extinct species
  • Extinction Witness founder, US-based poet Megan Hollingsworth
  • Feral Theatre, a theatre company that explores loss, death and memory through performance often in outdoor spaces
  • ONCA’s mission is to inspire creativity and positive action in the face of environmental change
  • Bridget McKenzie leads Flow UK, a cultural learning consultancy based in London
  • Dark Mountain
  • Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky and co-leader of Project Passenger Pigeon
  • MEMO Project, an iconic architectural project to build a permanent memorial to extinct species on the Isle of Portland
  • Sew the Seeds textile artist Sherrell Biggerstaff Cuneo
  • Brandon Ballengee, US-based artist/biologist
  • Zoomorphic magazine
  • Errol Fuller, painter and author of The Great Auk, Dodo, Extinct Birds and Lost Animals
  • Amphibian Foundation, a US-based non-profit organisation dedicated to creating and implementing lasting solutions to the global amphibian extinction crisis
  • Buglife – the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, working to save Britain’s rarest little animals, from jumping spiders to jellyfish
  • Extinction Symbol – our logo is based on the extinction symbol. The circle signifies the planet, while the hourglass inside serves as a warning that time is rapidly running out for many species.


logo designed by Julia Peddie