Our new print has finally arrived. Titled Sanguine Moon by American artist Margaret Barnaby, it’s a wood block print of two Alala (Hawaiian crows) perched on a loulu palm under a blood red October moon. Margaret’s work is truly stunning – much of it concerned with Alala and some of Hawaii’s many other endangered animals and plants. You can see more of it at her website.
Last week I had the pleasure of launching a new book called Animal Death, edited by Jay Johnston and Fiona Probyn-Rapsey (Sydney UP, 2013). The little speech that I gave about the book is reproduced below.
As I stood in the presence of this individual, the last of a species, I was reminded of how incredibly ill equipped we are as a culture to make sense of the immensity of the loss that is extinction.
Conservation in haunted landscapes: In 2002 the last free living Hawaiian crow died. As of this time, the only surviving members/participants of this species have been required to live their lives in captivity, subjects of a long running captive breeding program. While it is hoped that one day soon they will be able to be released back into the forests of Hawaii’s Big Island, before that can happen there is much that needs to be done.
In the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, at the far north west end of the Hawaiian Archipelago, lie a few tiny coral and sand islands encircled by a small reef. These little patches of dry land in the midst of a vast expanse of water and sky are Midway Atoll.