Last One

Drawing of the last Dusky Seaside Sparrow. Originally living around Merrit Island in Florida they were declared extinct in December 1990. This final male specimen is kept in a jar of alcohol. The original photo is from the brilliant, and starkly haunting, National Geographic article “Last One”.

I’ve subscribed to National Geographic for four or five years now, but in the last two I’ve made an effort to read every issue cover to cover. Not just flipping past the photos but really looking, trying to absorb all the nuance, beauty and sometimes tragedy. I’m not certain what Nat Geo was like 40, 50 or 100 years ago. Nowadays, though, it seems to be less a catalog of discoveries, than a record of disappearances.

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