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Lost and Found: Rediscovering ‘Extinct’ Species

If you’re intrigued by extinct species, you may share Expedition Leader Mike Hillman’s desire: a yearning to step back in time to see these lost species in person. Funny thing is, this “impossible” experience has happened! In fact, it has occurred many times. The black-footed ferret, the Puerto Rican crested toad and the tree lobster are all species, among others, once declared extinct by scientists. After years of searching, not a single individual could be found in the wild. The last of its kind was presumed to have perished somewhere in the wilderness with little fanfare. However, against all odds, some of those species hadn’t actually died out. Instead, they remained secretly in a safe haven in the remote recesses of our planet. This presentation is a collection of such tales: fascinating stories of species once believed extinct and later rediscovered. Join Mike to learn how these species survived despite our best efforts to push them irrevocably into extinction. Hear about the inconceivable luck of a person who stumbles upon a lost species, and how we are rectifying past mistakes to make sure these fortunate few animals don’t disappear again.


Originally presented November 9, 2020
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