The processes of speciation take millions of years, for a lizard to lose its legs, or a possum to take flight, for a plant to mimic a duck or a frog to glitter like gold. But human time is speeding up the cycles of decline. The Regent Honeyeater was once abundant but is now not only critically endangered but also functionally extinct. With 350 or less individuals in the wild there are too few of them to play a significant role in the the ecosystems they inhabit. So how do we define what is a threatened species? The Flying Duck Orchid is classified as being of ‘least concern’ but is it not also threatened in this world of rapid change? The mandala rotates and loops endlessly, showing the appearance and disappearance of species. Where will it stop?
Regent Honeyeater Anthochaera phrygia, Striped Legless Lizard Delma impar, Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis, White’s Seahorse Hippocampus whitei, Darling Hardyhead Craterocephalus amniculus, Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea, Giant Dragonfly Petalura gigantea, Flying Duck Orchid Caleana major, Pepper Pot fungi Myriostoma coliforme.
Rachel Klyve is a scientific illustrator and artist from Australia. She works in both traditional and digital mediums in 2D and 3D. Her work describes and celebrates biodiversity and highlights the importance of art in the communication of science.