Scientists estimate that we’re currently losing vital parts of our ecosystem to extinction at a rate that’s some 1000 to 10,000 times greater than what would naturally occur. This loss of biodiversity may seem abstract, and there are plenty of plants and animals we’ve lost that you might never have encountered in your life. Others you could have bragged about seeing on vacation.
As reported by Popular Science, a poster series created by Expedia UK highlights some of the world’s tragic extinctions by advertising the unique animals associated with certain travel destinations. The dodo, the poster child for human-driven extinction (despite its smarts), would have been reason enough to visit the island of Mauritius, if the species hadn’t been eradicated by the 17th century.
Take a look at these beautiful, vintage-inspired poster designs below.
Once found in great numbers in the North Pacific, the Stellar's sea cow was hunted to extinction by 1768, less than 30 years after its discovery by Europeans. The sea cows could grow up to 30 feet long.
The last recorded sighting of the giant galliwasp was in 1840. Its demise has been blamed on introduced predators like mongooses.
The golden toad was last sighted in 1989, and its disappearance may be linked to climate change, though the data isn't precise enough to make a clear judgment.
The flightless moa was once New Zealand's dominant species of herbivore. It was first described in scientific literature in 1839, and was extinct by 1907.
The thylacine, a marsupial known as the Tasmanian tiger, was intentionally exterminated to protect Australian sheep in the 19th and 20th centuries. The last thylacine known to science died in a Tasmanian zoo in 1936. This sole remaining thylacine was famously caught on film in 1933, by a cameraman who got bit on the butt by the creature’s impressive gaping jaws for his efforts.
While these animals may be some of the most charismatic of extinct species, there are plenty more plant and animal species that have gone extinct—or are on the verge of extinction—that aren't quite photogenic enough to get their own travel posters. Just remember: the ecosystem needs ugly animals too.
[h/t Popular Science]
All images courtesy Expedia UK
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