I'm making a television documentary about extinction for the BBC - and was hoping that I could make use of your knowledge and expertise.
The programme - provisionally titled 'The Dodo's Guide to Surviving Extinction' - will be about how we are in the middle of huge, man-made mass extinction. It will be broken up into chapters illustrating the factors that put species at risk. eg - Stay clear of humans Don't live on an island Store your DNA.
I was hoping that forum members would be able to suggest other chapter titles, and stories we could use to illustate them. For instance we might tell the story of the Pyrrenean Ibex to talk about DNA storing.
All suggestions gratefully received. Projects/operations which are happening currently are particularly valuable.
You can reply here or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Don´t be too tasty" would also be a possibility (like the case of the passenger pigeon) or "don´t compete with introduced species". An interesting advice would be "don´t be too rare" because there were cases in which species who faced extinction became high-prized objects of museum collectors, like the great auk. Or very important "Don´t reproduce too slowly", because many animals, especially large animals on islands had very slow reproduction rates and were therefore especially vulnerable for extinction. Similar cases are modern animals like mountain gorillas or condors which have the same problem. It would be great if there would be a special part about Madagascar, because there were probably the greatest man-made extinction of big animals(elephant birds, giant lemurs, many smaller lemurs, giant tortoises, probably one species of crocodile, two small hippo species, two aardvark species and many more) in the last 2000 years. There are some very famous extinct animals like the great auk, the dodo, the tasmanian tiger, the quagga, the passenger pigeon, the auerochs or steller´s seacow, but there were much more, which were not lesser interesting.
Thanks. All great suggestions. I think we'll cover a lot of them in the programme.
Sordes - I'd love to devote a whole section to Madagascar - sadly my budget won't allow me to go there - but I have the BBC archive to plunder for footage. You mention that there are many lesser known, but interesting, extinctions. Which animals would you suggest as the most interesting.
From a strictly practcial point of view - I'd be most interested in examples recent enough or their to be footage/pictures of the animals concerned.
The malagasy giant lemurs are sadly very unkown, only the giant elephant birds are often mentioned. In General islands have the interesting extinct species, for example the land dwelling mekosuchine crocodiles from New Caledonia, Vanatua and Fidji, but there is only very few information about them, also about the large extinct ground birds from this islands. New Zealand is also place where many interesting animals died out, for example the moas, the giant eagle harpagornis, the giant gecko Hoplodactylus delcourti, giant flightless geese, a burrowing bat and many other animals. Hydrodamalis gigas is comparably well known and undoubtly one of the most impressive species which was hunted to extinction by man. There were also several other giant forms of smaller reptiles which became extinct in the last centuries. A very good animal for a documentation could be the auerochs, because there are even re-breed cattle breeds which looks quite similar to their extinct ancestors. There is plenty of material in museums showing old pictures of this animal and also many bones. The great auk would also be nice, there are even several mounted specimens and eggs in musems.
Yes, malagasy animals like the giant lemurs would be awesome. Also i think it would be interesting to see other European species like the dwarf Elephants of the Mediterean Islands. Other interesting animals would be also the giant Swans, the Moa-nalos or maybe the European dwarf forms of Hippos.
A other Island would be also Mauritius or Rodriguez there could be about the Solitary bird, some other endmic birs, the giant tortoises.
Last Edit: Oct 15, 2006 20:08:28 GMT by slothlemur
Another interesting topic could be the vanishing of the species in North America, especially about the Passenger Pigeon, the Great Auk, the Heath Hen, and the Carolina Parakeet. But also about the extirpation of the Grizzly in California and Mexico, the mass killing of the Bisons and the story of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker.