Unknown Tourism: Commemorating the Wildlife We’ve Lost

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In a series of vintage-style travel posters, Expedia UK illustrates places you can travel to today, but species that have vanished. 

The Unkown Tourism series highlights six species that the world has lost to extinction. From the commonly-known thylacine and dodo to the less well-known Jamaican giant galliwast, the travel posters give viewers a visual reminder of wildlife that has slipped away.

“We created the posters as a way of paying tribute to some of the amazing animals we’ve lost and showing people something about the countries they wouldn’t necessarily think about,” Matt Lindley, a spokesperson for the project told the ESC in an email. “We realized that many visitors to countries like New Zealand or Costa Rica aren’t aware of the extinct wildlife that once lived there, and yet these animals form an important part of a country’s heritage.”

The series calls to attention the plight of species we that have disappeared and in danger of being forgotten. But it can also serve as a warning of what is to come if we don’t act. Scientists tell us that we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction event. Unlike past mass extinctions, this current catastrophe is caused almost entirely by humans and our actions. 99 percent of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities. 

“If they can also get people thinking more about the animals we’re in danger of losing,” Matt added, “that can only be a good thing.” 

You can see the entire collection below, with links to Wikipedia pages about the species. The series is currently online only, but Expedia UK says they have had requests to make the prints available and are looking into that option.

alaska-stellers-sea-cow
Stellars Sea Cow
jamaica-giant-galliwasp
Giant Galliwasp
mauritius-dodo
Dodo
Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger)
Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger)
Moa
Moa
Golden Toad
Golden Toad

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