The Endling: Watching a Species Vanish in Real Time
June 11, 2018 7:38 PM   Subscribe

On the frontlines of extinction in the Gulf of California, where the vaquita faces its final days. "A 2016 report warned that the vaquita was "racing toward extinction"; a 2017 follow-up lamented that the collapse had "continued unabated." Today, fewer than 30 vaquitas remain. They are the world's most endangered marine mammal. "Every time I see one," Pitman told me, "I wonder: Is this the last one I'm going to see? Is this the last one anyone's going to see?"
posted by primalux (9 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
God this breaks my heart.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 9:47 PM on June 11, 2018 [5 favorites]

Thanks for this primalux - Recently I had a horrifying epiphany when I really realised (there's knowing and there's really knowing) that we have to start making conscious choices over who lives and who does not (seeing animals as who rather than what). I was wandering around the rapidly-changing Christchurch and recording my thoughts on this - until I broke down. I can't listen to that recording, but I know I am VERY angry at those who are destroying Earth. I also know that the legal/political process is (deliberately) too slow to have any real effect.
posted by unearthed at 3:36 AM on June 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh, my heart.
posted by allthinky at 7:04 AM on June 12, 2018

It is exceedingly difficult to feel things other than despair these days.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:40 AM on June 12, 2018 [7 favorites]

I really want to be that person who believes that you must love yourself yo love others, and you must love all people to love the rest living on this planet.

And yet:
totoaba, a mammoth cousin of the sea bass whose swim bladders are a delicacy worth up to $100,000 per kilogram while the rest of the fish is left to rot.

I know its wrong of me, but I wish that the next 250 men* would die a fairly painful death due to totoaba bladder suddenly becoming toxic to humans.

*I'm pretty sure 99% of them would be selfish egotistical greedy males
posted by BlueHorse at 10:33 AM on June 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is so awful.
posted by alleycat01 at 11:19 AM on June 12, 2018

It is hard not to despair, but friends, there are still things we as individuals can do. We can make a difference. Do not give up, do not stop trying to live harmoniously and sustainably on the earth by whatever means make the most sense to you. I have seen the healing that wild places and even not so wild places are capable of.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 11:52 AM on June 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

In other human-caused extinction news: Extinct gibbon in ancient Chinese tomb hints at other lost primate species
posted by XMLicious at 11:46 PM on June 24, 2018

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