Do you know what kind of animal this is? “Many people suffer from amnesia of nature”

The dodo. mammoths; dinosaur. All kinds of animals that once existed are now extinct, but they remain forever in our collective memory. But what about the thin-billed curlew? A primitive bull?

“They lived in Holland and are now extinct, but nobody knows that,” says Mark Argello. In recent years, he’s done research on what he calls normal amnesia mutant baseline syndrome In English. “We suffer from amnesia when it comes to developments in nature,” he explains. “How things are with nature, and which species have become extinct: we often have no idea, especially when it comes to animals that became extinct a few generations ago.”

dead and stuffed

The beaked curlew was last seen in the Netherlands in 1947. “This is a very beautiful bird, with a stretch

With a long, downward curved beak

And our grandfathers and grandmothers may have seen this animal in the wild,” says Argello. But only the generations that came after can see the animal at the Museon-Omniversum in The Hague. They are also extinct all over the world.

The same fate has a bull: he last died in 1627, she was the mother of all livestock breeds around the world. “The genetic material of these animals is gone, damn it, and it will never be brought back, which is sad.”

Argeloo believes it is important for people to face this and understand what is happening. This is why the book was written Nature amnesia, how can we forget what nature looked likeHe will defend his thesis tomorrow at Utrecht University. “Dinosaurs, dodos, mammoths all died at the hands of non-humans. But the species that died out in centuries past: it’s our fault. Nobody else.”

Just forget it, because it goes very slowly, and because according to Argeloo, tradition rarely happens, if at all. “In schools, in biology lessons, in the media and in cultural museums, little attention is paid to the species of animals that are now disappearing and which have already disappeared. Woolly mammoths are still in the history books, but the species that became extinct, not anymore.”

“You can also reply with a shrug: Oh, thin-billed curlew, well, we still have a lot of animals, but if the curlew can go extinct, so can the lion.”

Just like in Delfzijl

The number of lions around the world at present is as large, or small, as the population of Delfzijl. Just over 24,000 people live there. Argeloo tries to shake people awake with these kinds of numbers and facts in his book and in his research. “There were lions in Greece and Turkey.”

It ignores words like “bad,” “dramatic,” or “terrible”: it’s up to people to decide for themselves. “The facts can help with that better. For example, my brother-in-law did not want to face that nature and the animals that live in it are having a hard time. But now that he has read my book, he sees it.”

Due to climate change, the Lapland reindeer are also endangered, as evidenced by the video below:

Argeloo believes that our awareness of natural history needs improvement. “We celebrate the memory of the martyrs on May 4, and our liberation on May 5. I myself am from Alkmaar: we always celebrate there on October 8 because so many years ago the Spaniards left in 1573. Events, sad or festive, those that have to do with people, we think about it, But if animal species become extinct, we don’t. I find that incomprehensible.”


However, Argeloo is not a sad man. And not an angry man either. He is optimistic. “If people see what’s going on, and that nature needs more attention, you could still be fine.” The arch can not turn back, and the thin-beaked pigtail cannot be wrapped. But, says Argello, “there is still a lot to recover from for animals that are now going through tough times.”

He says nature is resilient. This, in turn, is a reason for many people to say: “Then nature will save itself.” But the number of endangered species is increasing. Naturalis alone contains a collection of more than sixty extinct species. . “

So, yes, nature is resilient, but: “It needs rest, space, and time to recover. It’s up to us, humans, to remember that, and act accordingly.”

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