The Database

At present this website is under heavy construction. This means that REPAD itself, which contains all of the species and subspecies accounts, is still hosted on the old website. It currently contains 9,800 entries and can be accessed here.

 

The Three Kingdoms

However, I have started to migrate the database over to this new site. Taxon profiles are available for a select number of taxa from each of the three kingdoms covered by REPAD:

 

Most Recent Global Extinctions

Contrary to what one might expect, given our increasing awareness of the current biodiversity crisis and the rise of the environmental movement, species are still going extinct at an alarming rate. More than 200 species and subspecies are extinct in the wild, and almost seventy others are believed to have become extinct since the year 2000. And with several others to almost certainly end up the same way in the next decade. I have compiled a table of the most recent recognized extinctions across the plant and animal kingdoms.

 

Kept Its Stripes, But Lost Its Life

Arguably it is the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus), immortalised by the phrase "as dead as a dodo", that stands out as the preminent case of anthropic extinction. But it is the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) that fills me with both the greatest sense of loss, since we know so little about it even though there were innumerable opportunities to study it. And fills me with the greatest hope, since there have uniquely been thousands of reported sightings since 1936. It is also possibly the most preventable recent extinction, since although the Passenger pigeon should never have died out, the thylacines demise was the result of scapegoatism. We can, however, find some solace in the fact that the thylacine archive is both magnificent (and tragic) and truly fascinating. New research is still being done, and the thylacines story still throws up the odd welcome surprise. Like the photo of the mother and cubs that only recently came to light.

 

What Have We Done?

In the meantime, here is the first episode of the 1995-1996 television show "Lost Animals", co-written by Canadian author David Day and narrated by the Italian-Australian actress Greta Scacchi: