Rather than focusing on a particular species story, Remembrance Day for Lost Species (also called Lost Species Day, or RDLS) 2019 invites people to celebrate the ways that humans have named, loved and lived with their human and non-human kin. An aim of Lost Species Day 2019 is to highlight the histories and current importance of indigenous people and traditional cultures as ecological stewards.
The recorded names of now-extinct and endangered species were often given to them as part of the extractive colonial processes that are responsible for ecological crises worldwide. Many of these animals and plants would have had local names already, but what are they? Lost Species Day 2019 may offer participants paths to restorative knowledge and place-based practice through exploration of the local names, stories and knowledge of extinct and endangered species.
There are many different ways to participate – here are a few examples:
- Find out about and share stories that are local or relevant to you (eg local names of lost or endangered species)
- Make art
- Host a ceremony or event
- Research your indigenous language/s
- Learn about the languages of animals and plants
- Additionally, on days before or after RDLS, organise or participate in personally and collectively restorative activities (e.g. beach and waterway cleans, tree planting, gardening with pollinators and soil in mind).
How to join Lost Species Day 2019
Let us know if you hold an event, and we can help promote it. You can:
- Document your event and share any images, text etc with us via Twitter or Instagram @lostspeciesday,
- Email us at
- Use the hashtags #lostspeciesday, #lostspeciesday2019 and #originalnames
- Write a blog post for the Remembrance Day for Lost Species website.
Please contact us to let us know your plans, and we will add them to the map of events.
About Lost Species Day / Remembrance Day for Lost Species
Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30th, is a chance each year to explore the stories of extinct species. These stories lead to the stories of critically endangered species, ways of life, and ecological communities. Set up in 2011 in response to species extinctions resulting from human activity, Lost Species Day is an opportunity to make or renew commitments to all who remain and to collaborate on creative and practical solutions. The primary intention of the day is to create spaces for grieving and reflection. Previous activities have included art, processions, tree planting, building Life Cairns, bell casting and ringing, Regenerative Memorials and more. Explore this website for examples of past events.
Lost Species Day is a voluntary initiative supported by a loose collective of artists, activists and charitable organisations, including ONCA.
Image: Kingfisher by Jackie Morris – illustration from The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris