Reviving the Wild: No Longer Extinct

Reviving the Wild: No Longer Extinct

Species have been disappearing for years.

We are currently in what Scientists call the silent extinction, where species’ populations are declining at an alarming rate somehow going unnoticed. For example, over the last 30 years the giraffe population has declined 40%!

Back in 1962, the rosy saxifrage, a small mountain jewel plant, was noted in the wild for the last time and soon made the extinction list. This native plant of Eryri in the UK “is part of a family of mountain plants that thrived when northern Britain was frozen over during the ice age. When the glaciers melted, the saxifrages flourished in the mountain environment.The plant’s delicate appearance and beautiful flowers eventually made them popular among plant collectors, particularly Victorians, who picked them for private collections.There is still a lucrative market for rare and special plants, often picked illegally and fetching thousands of pounds*.” In efforts to reignite the biodiversity within the UK, a horticulturist Robbie Blackhall-Miles decided it was time to get this species reestablished in its native habitat to revive its population numbers.

Now you may be curious how this is even possible after the plant has been declared extinct. The notation of the rosy saxifrage “in 1962, however, Dick Roberts, a teacher and conservationist, picked up a piece of a plant that had washed down a path on a school trip in Cwm Idwal. He took it home and planted it in his garden. All the rosy saxifrage now in Great Britain stems back to that tiny plant, and about a decade ago Blackhall-Miles was given a cutting to care for.” Through intentionality and quality care the rosy saxifrage was able to be reintroduced into the wild. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated researchers and horticologists in “a secret location in Eryri, people gathered in the rain, including the ranger Rhys Weldon-Roberts, to plant the rosy saxifrage in the wild. Weldon-Roberts will be monitoring the plant, wary of collectors.”

The world is changing for the better thanks to those that are recognizing issues and standing up to fix them. Without advocates our world and ecosystems would look much different. And the work is not done yet! There are countless species around the world that need our help. So be an advocate whether that’s through action or education, teach yourself and others. You never know the difference you can make until you try!

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