Requiem for Small Creatures
This tiny butterfly is gone from the Earth, a result of habitat loss along the coast of California. The last one was seen around 1941. I photographed the Xerces blue butterfly at the Essig Museum at UC Berkeley.
With this project I hope to mark the lives and passing of often overlooked species, to emphasize the importance of biodiversity and the link to human life, and to raise awareness of actions we can take to promote insect survival. I’m working on gaining permission to photograph collections throughout the world as well as funding to carry out this ambitious project.
Scientists believe we are witnessing massive extinctions of insects, possibly having lost 40 percent of the biomass of insects, and I want to serve as a witness and documentarian of this sad state. There are millions of insect species in the world and not enough entomologists or funding to record them all, and certainly not enough resources to document the losses of entire species. But I can gather what information is known, from many museums, into a photographic record.