Our earth is more beautiful and more diverse than we can possibly conceive of.
Collected here are eighty of the planet's most mysterious, bizarre, and wondrous creatures and plants. Their stories are captivating, from the olm – a pale creature with no eyes that lives in cave pools – to the hawksbill turtle, whose gender is determined by the temperature of the sand it was born in. These creatures have survived hundreds of thousands of years by cleverly adapting to their environments, but their futures remain far from certain.
In The Book of Vanishing Species, artist and writer Beatrice Forshall tells story after story – bringing to life red cranes as they dance and bow for the sheer joy of movement, trees that breathe out a haze of misty atmosphere for insects that only feast on one kind of flower, a deep-ocean snail quietly building its shell from iron... each one is immortalised in a detailed etching. As you turn the pages, there emerges a network of life that stretches across and around the planet in a dazzling web of existence.
The Book of Vanishing Species is both a love letter to the wonders of nature, and an urgent call to arms to protect what is precious and beautiful in this world.
Beatrice Forshall is an artist whose work draws on the natural world. Her exquisite hand-coloured, drypoint engravings revolve around wildlife and themes central to conservation. In 2018 she was an artist in residence at the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), a pioneering collaboration between researchers, policymakers and practitioners focussed on transforming the global understanding and conservation of our natural world. The Book of Vanishing Creatures is her contribution to the cause.