June 10, 2010
Sad news readers, we've lost another one. Another wonderful and distinct species that will never again grace our planet. R.I.P. Alaotra Grebe.
Sure, extinction is part of natural selection, survival of the fittest and all that --- but what many anti-environmentalists fail to realize when they make this argument is that the nature and efficacy of natural selection, in terms of selecting the fittest, is being fundamentally mutated by human beings. It's not "natural" selection when a species fails to adapt to climate change, over-hunting, or the pollutants poured into their habitat. Human beings continue change the environment too quickly for species to adapt, and then they're gone forever.
In the case of the little Alaotra Grebe, which lived in Madagascar, a particularly imperiled region (see our Madagascar tag for more info), the cause of its extinction was mostly habitat loss, poaching, and predation by a species of carnivorous fish introduced by human beings.
Unfortunately, only one blurry photograph (above) of the grebe exists, but an illustration can be seen below:
According to Monga Bay: "The Alaotra grebe is the third grebe to vanish in forty years, and the 132nd bird species to vanish since 1600, although it is likely birds unknown to science also went extinct during that time.
To date 1,240 birds are threatened with extinction according to the IUCN Red List, which added 25 species to the list since last year."
This is what ESPP is working to prevent people. Help us support conservation with any of ESPP's limited-edition prints, which you can purchase here. Remember 100% of the profits go to protect the species depicted.
We're in it to win it, and serious about bio-diversity. Join the team!
You can read more about the former Alaotra Grebe in this excellent BBC article here.