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The Extinction of Species
by Roger Cox

There were no dodos to miss, until they were all gone.
They died in their thousands then in hundreds, to none.
Not from disease but a disaster of nature undone,
By the ship rat and sailor with a spiked club and gun.

But it didn’t stop there with a few flightless birds.
For now gone are the vast flocks and incredible great herds,
Not for food, or for need but for things quite absurd,
Like pillows and hats, most feathered, some furred.

On land and on sea did that killing spree spread,
As each species was cleansed though few tears were then shed.
From snails through to whales, in a relentless bloodshed,
We plundered the Earth until we made them all dead.

The Barbary lion, the Labrador duck,
The Tasmanian wolf as well as the Blue buck.
The Sea cow, the Quagga and the Cuban macaw,
The Passenger pigeon; the Heath hen and more.
All slaughtered en masse by the dozen, or the score,
For science, or bounty and trophies galore!
And what of the Great auk, the Sea mink and Moa,
The Caspian tiger and the Rails of Samoa?
Like a Rain Forest, gone, for more coffee and cocoa
Else cattle, tobacco and the rubber plant grower.

Though now somewhat improved from our misdeeds of the past,
We’re saving the planet, and perhaps learning at last,
That a solution for world hunger and problems equally as vast,
Is to preserve wildlife and fish stocks, in the hope they will last.

But how will we fare as new problems persist,
With climate change adding every day to that list?
More animals and plants, all sorely now missed,
Which, along with the dodo, no longer exist.

Copyright Roger Cox 2018
extinct 1627

Carolina Parakeet,
extinct 1939
Tasmanian Wolf,
extinct 1936
Moa, extinct 1300

Quagga, extinct 1883

Baiji River Dolphin,
extinct 2002
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