This week’s extinction Thursday features not one, but TWELVE species all from the same genus. Cyanea arborea, Cyanea comata, Cyanea cylindrocalyx, Cyanea dolichopoda, Cyanea giffardii, Cyanea marksii, Cyanea pohaku, Cyanea pycnocarpa, and Cyanea quercifolia are extinct. Cyanea pinnatifida, Cyanea superba, and Cyanea truncata are extinct in the wild.
Cyanea species are members of the Bellflower family, like Clermontia peleana, another extinct species that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Cyanea are endemic to Hawaii and are very morphologically diverse – from small branching plants to large shrubs to 30m tall trees! These species went extinct because of us – introduced pigs and invasive plant species devastated these extinct species and have caused many other Cyaneas to become endangered. Logging and cattle grazing also threaten Cyaneas.
Grey wolves haven’t gone the way of the Cyaneas yet, but if protections are lifted it’s unlikely they’ll survive. Go, write a letter!