Extinction is an attempt to understand, through photographs and text, the factors threatening numerous species of animal and plant with extinction and to explore man's relationship with life on Earth. It showcases ten years of photographing endangered and extinct specimens in The Field Museum in Chicago – one of the world's greatest and most important sets of natural history collections. The photographs in Extinction were made behind the scenes in the Field Museum's collections, revealing specimens that are not on public display. Extinction illustrates the crucial importance of museum collections for conservation, education and research.
The images lead the reader to the species' stories, promoting a greater understanding of conservation efforts, reasons for decline (including climate change, habitat loss and overexploitation) and mankind's stewardship of life on Earth at a critical time in history. The United Nations recent Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services makes the set of issues affecting biodiversity even more topical. The book has been designed to have pages with black backgrounds for extinct species and white backgrounds for species nearing extinction. A yellow flag highlights conservation successes, which are interspersed throughout. The conservation success stories highlight the positive work that is happening and the potential there is to prevent the extinction of these and other species.
Marc Schlossman has a lifelong interest in ecology and photography. He grew up in Chicago, originally completing a BSc in Wildlife Biology at the University of Maine. His freelance photography career began in Boston in 1986, working for various newspapers and magazines. Based in London since 1987, he has won numerous environmental photography awards, was co-founder, producer and curator of FrameZero Gallery and is co-photographer for two travel books. His work has been featured in The Sunday Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The London Telegraph and New Scientist Magazine.