The World's Lost and Rediscovered Species!
Our goal and history
Our goal is to discover the world's lost and rediscovered species. The aim of REPAD is to compile all of the world's available information about recently extinct and rediscovered species (and subspecies) and present it in an easily accessible manner. We are concerned to map the global changes in faunal and floral content of the Book of Evolution during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. And perhaps even a new age: the Anthropocene.
The internet in particular has revolutionised the way that information is both transmitted and stored. And along with Google this has allowed REPAD to exist as a largely online-based resource that anybody can access from anywhere on our planet. We plan to expand in the future to include more traditionally based media forms such as books, documentaries, articles etc. However, at present our costs are kept minimal by using our online presence to bring this information to the public. Without funding we are limited in the ways we can actively influence the decisions of those who truly matter: you.
Our founder, Branden Holmes, has been on a mission to document the world's lost and rediscovered species since the early 2000's. During the 1990's as a child he was given a set of children's encyclopedia's from the early 1970's. Although largely out-dated by then, there was one image that stayed with him, that of a Baiji or Yangtze river dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) in captivity. When he later found out that the species was probably globally extinct he immediately sought out any information that he could read about recently extinct plant and animals. With the knowledge that zoos and conservation programs alone were simply not enough to ensure the protection of wildlife, he embarked upon a journey to help protect our last remaining precious creatures and to learn from those instances in which we failed.
The thylacine, the dodo, Steller's sea cow, the Passenger pigeon, the Great auk, and countless other animals and plants have recently been driven to extinction by humans. And while some few species are rediscovered each year, the Extinction List grows inexorably longer and longer.
Evolution and extinction, the arising and destruction of populations, are natural events. They have happened many times over the Earth's long geological history. The last of the dinosaurs were killed off during the K-T Boundary Extinction Event, probably as the result of an asteroid collision somewhere in the Yucatan Peninsula off the coast of modern day México. But although both geologically sudden and taxonomically discriminating there was nothing "unnatural" about the death of the dinosaurs. Each species lasts only a finite time before all its members either cease to exist, or evolve and give rise to a new species (termed phyletic extinction). But the rise of our own species, followed by our spread across the planet, now poses an unnatural threat to the world's biodiversity.
Indeed very few of the thousands of species believed to have become extinct within the last 100,000 years died out naturally. In most cases negative human influence was the cause of their disappearance. Through habitat modification and destruction, introduced pests and diseases, persecution and simple inaction. These are just some of the resons for their extinction. And our impact upon the world's species isn't simply limited to influencing their short-term fate. Over the long term the loss of genetic diversity may have an impact upon evolution on a post-human planet. Species may fail to adapt to their dynamic environments as a result of lost genetic diversity suffered thousands or millions of years previously. Explore this website to learn more about our recently lost and rediscovered species.
Recommended citation: Holmes, Branden (compiler). (2016). REPAD: The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database. An online resource. Available at: http://cubits.org/TheExtinctionCubit and http://www.recentlyextinctspecies.com [access date (optional)]