As well as highlighting iconic trees of Florida–trees that are central to several of Florida’s diverse ecosystems, I was compelled to bring attention to the 11 endangered and threatened endemic species of Florida. The reason I chose endemic species is because I realize how little attention is placed on these specific species. It was through my research I learned that not only are most of these species found inland and in south Florida, but all of these species are incredibly small– only a few grow to be as big as 18″. With much of conservation efforts placed on larger mammals such as the manatee and Florida Panther, I couldn’t help but think about size being a factor here… like, “Out of sight of mind”…
To get to the number 11, I reached out to a biologist from ‘Landscape Florida’.
“LandScope America is an online resource for the land-protection community and the public. Developed in collaboration by NatureServe, the National Geographic Society, and many partner organizations, LandScope America is designed to increase the pace and effectiveness of conservation action and investment throughout the United States.”
The biologist provided two lists (vertebrate and invertebrate), each of which had global, federal, legal, and state listings for each animal. From the codes I was able to narrow down which animals are listed threatened and endangered. This process in and of itself was completely eye opening. Once I compiled my list, I began my research of each animal and understand why they are imperiled. The reason being – habitat loss and destruction due to human development and agriculture. After my research, I began my sketches and studies of each animal with intent of framing their prints inside antique frames. One of the goals I had for this grouping of prints was to push myself into the design realm. I didn’t want to place these animals in the center of the frames for multiple reasons–design wise and conceptually. These animals aren’t found anywhere else on this planet. They are on the brink of extinction…Fleeting, but still here. Below are scans of the sketches I did of each animal to scale. The sketches are what I developed my plexi-etching prints from and have since been framed and will be in the grant show.