Chronography of Environment and Conservation

Page last modified 10 August 2023

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�Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret�, Horace. You can expel nature with a pitchfork, but she will keep returning.

God will not seek thy race, nor will he ask thy birth. Alone he will demand of thee �What hast thou done with the land that I gave thee�, Persian Proverb

In fighting Nature, Man can win every battle, except the last, Thor Heyerdahl


Extinctions � see Appendix

Environmental and Conservation Organisations � see Appendix a


1 January 2020, Palau became the first nation to ban the import or sale of sunscreens containing chemicals toxic to coral. Half of sunscreen brands on sale in 2018 contained chemicals poisonous to coral even in trace amounts, and the area is a favoured destination for diving. Hawaii announced a similar ban in 5/2018, to come into effect in 2021.

1 November 2019, Fracking was banned in England after a series of earthquakes of up to magnitude 2.5 in the Blackpool area were attributed to it. Fracking was already banned in the rest of the UK.


Plastics pollution

5/2019, Maine became the first US State to ban single-use Styrofoam containers for food and drink. The law was to come into effect in 2021, giving businesses time to adapt.

2017, The BBC broadcast Blue Planet II, galvanising the world to the dangers of plastic pollution in the world�s oceans.

2015, 400 million tons of plastic was produced this year, compared to 2 million tons in 1950. Of this, only 9% was recycled; 12% was incinerated, and 79% ended up in landfill or polluting the environment, 8 million tons of plastic was estimated to enter the oceans annually.


3 January 2016, The United Kingdom designated Ascension Island and its surrounding waters in the Atlantic Ocean as a Marine protected area. The reserve was almost as big as the UK with just over half of the protected area completely closed to fishing.

26 June 2007, The UN declared the Galapagos Islands an endangered heritage site.

26 February 2008, The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened on Spitzbergen, Norway.

19 June 2006, On Spitzbergen, construction work began on a vault to preserve seeds for future generations in the event of a catastrophe such as nuclear war.

3 July 2005, Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, also Governor of Wisconsin, died (born 4 June 1916).

26 July 2004, The Frozen Ark Project was launched, to preserve the DNA of endangered species.

17 March 2001, The Eden Centre, officially opened. It featured the world�s largest indoor rainforest.

20 November 2000, The Millenium Seed Bank at Kew Gardens, London, opened.


Global Warming /Climate Change

13/11`/2021, The United Nation Change Conference, COP-26, closed in Glasgow. Disappointingly, it looked as if the 1.5 C maximum global warming target would be exceeded, as promises to phase out coal were watered down and delayed.

24 August 2019, Concern grew worldwide after widespread large fires burnt large areas of the Amazon rainforest. There were also blazes in Siberia and Alaska, as unusually warm air reached there, and in the African and east Asian rainforests. President Bolsonaro of Brazil was accused by President Macron of France, hosting the G7 meeting at this time, of encouraging farmers to burn large areas for agriculture. There were protests outside several Brazilian embassies.

22 April 2016, Leaders of 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement, setting an accord for tackling climate change.

7 July 2007, A series of Live Earth concerts were held around the world to raise awareness of climate change.

6 April 2007, The final version of Climate Change 2007, the IPCC�s Fourth Assessment report, was published.

30 October 2006, The Stern Review was prepared for the British Goverrnment. CO2e levels were then 430 ppm (i.e. including methane equivalent). The report stated that above 450 ppm CO2e there would be a 50% chance of global temperatures rising 2C, and a 5% chance of a 3.5C rise. 2006 CO2 levels were around 387 ppm. In 2023 they were around 424 ppm.

4 November 2006, In London, 22,000 participated in a march to highlight the risks of climate change.

20 June 2005, Charles Keeling, scientist who alerted the world about global warming, died (born 20 April 1928).

16 February 2005, The Kyoto Protocol came into force after its ratification by Russia.. The US had not signed up, for economic reasons.

28 March 2002, US President Gorge W Bush withdrew the USA from the Kyoto protocol on climate change, which committed signatories to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

2001, The Third Assessment Report of the IPCC warned that over the 21st century global sea levels could rise by between 9cm and 88cm, as global temperature rose by between 1.4C and 5.8C.

17 April 1998, A satellite detected that a 200 square km piece of the Larsen B ice shelf had broken off. Global Warming was blamed.

11 December 1997, At the Kyoto Climate Conference, delegates agreed to reduce CO2 emissions by 5.2% of 1990 levels by 2012.

19 April 1996, The IPCC�s second report on climate change, Climate Change 1995.

1995, The first United Nation Climate Change Conference, COP-1, was held.

26 October 1990, The IPCC published its First Assessment Report on climate change.

6 December 1988, The United Nations established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

1958, US scientist Charles Keeling first began regularly measuring atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa observatory, Hawaii. He found it to be 317 parts per million (ppm), noticeably higher than the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm (known from ancient air trapped in polar ice). There was seasonal cyclicity with levels declining during the Northern hemisphere Summer then rising in Autumn, but with s distinct upwards trend over the decades, the Keeling Curve. In Spring 2020 levels had reached 414 ppm, but the covid19 outbreak had reduced levels very slightly, as most travel and much industry shut down..

1895, Arrhenius gave a paper to the Stockholm Physical Society propounding his theory of man-made global warming due to carbon dioxide.

1859, Arrhenius, Swedish scientist who first proposed that man�s industrial emissions could cause global warming, was born.


Ozone Hole

9 September 2000, For the first time, an entire city was exposed by the growing �ozone hole�; Puntas Arenas, in Chile.

29 September 1998, New Zealand scientists announced that the Ozone Hole had grown to 28 million square km

23 March 1993. The UN stated that record low levels of ozone had been registered over large areas of the Western Hemisphere.

5 March 1993, The World Meteorological Organisation reported that ozone levels over northern Europe and Canada were 20% below normal. The EU agreed to end CFC production by January 1995.

22 March 1989, The University of Wuppertal, Germany, inaugurated a research programme to monitor the Earth�s ozone layer. The system comprised a satellite spectroradiometer to be launched into orbit in 1993.

5 March 1989, As environmental awareness grew worldwide, the Ozone Layer Conference opened in London.

17 February 1989. Scientists warned of a threat to the ozone layer over the Arctic.

16 September 1987, 70 countries signed an agreement in Montreal to save the ozone layer, to freeze CFC production (used as a refrigeration gas) at current levels and halve it within 12 years. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica had been discovered in 1984. Annual production of chlorofluorocarbons, whose release was damaging the ozone layer, now stood at 1.1 million tonnes.

14 February 1992, Michael Heseltine promised that the UK would phase out CFCs, which were destroying the ozone layer. Earlier on 11 February 1992 President Bush had made a similar commitment.

1 January 1989, The Montreal Protocol (see 16 September 1987) came into force. Ozone-Depleting Chemicals were to be phased out by 2000.

16 September 1987, The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was negotiated and signed by 24 countries. By 2006 over 180 ncountries had signed it. These countries promised to freeze CFC production (used as a refrigeration gas) at current levels and halve it within 12 years. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica had been discovered in 1984.

16 May 1985, A hole in the ozone layer was found over the Antarctic, by the British Antarctic Expedition.

12/1978,The USA banned the non-essential use of CFCs in aerosols, followed by a similar ban by Canada and Sweden in 1979.

23 January 1978, Sweden became the first country to ban aerosol sprays, because of the damage they cause to the ozone layer.

11 May 1977. The USA said CFCswould be banned as propellants in aerosol cans within two years, after worries about ozone depletion.

16 June 1975, Oregon, USA, became the first place to ban the sale of aerosols containing CFC gases..

1974, US scientists M Molina and FS Rowland first warned the world about the damage being caused to the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons. Production of these chemicals had been negligible before 1940 but by 1974 over 700,000 tons of them were reaching the atmosphere annually.

16 May 1931, Paul Brodeur, science writer, was born in the USA. He wrote about environmental hazards including asbestos, household chemicals and the danger to the ozone layer.

1930, CFCs (chloro-fluoro-carbons) were invented by Thomas Midgley.


Brent Spar

29 January 1998, Shell announced that Brent Spar would be disposed of on shore, and used as the foundations for a new ferry terminal.

18 October 1995, DNV presented the results of their audit on Brent Spar; it did not contain anything like 5,500 tons of crude oil.

5 September 1995, Greenpeace admitted their claim that Brent Spar contained 5,500 tonnes of crude oil was inaccurate and apologised to Shell.

12 July 1995, Shell commissioned an independent Norwegian consultancy, Det Norske Veritas (DNV), to conduct an audit of the materials contained in the Brent Spar, to check Greanpeace�s allegations.

7 July 1995, Norway granted permission to moor the Brent Spar in Erfjord whilt options for its disposal were considered.

30 June 1995, Eleven states called for a moratorium on sea disposal of decommissioned offshore installations; the motion was opposed by Britain and Norway.

20 June 1995, Shell Oil Company caved in to international pressure and agreed not to dump the Brent Spar oil platform in the Atlantic.

15 June 1995, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl protested to the British Prime Minister John Major at the G7 Summit about the planned sinking of the Brent Spar.

14 June 1995, A week of protests across Germany began against Shell petrol stations; protestors threatened to firebomb 200 Shell filling stations. 50 were actually damaged, two fire-bombed, and one raked with bullets.

11 June 1995, Shell began to tow the Brent Spar out to the disposal site.

9 May 1995, The German Ministry of the Environment protested about the plans to sink the Brent Spar.

5 May 1995, The UK Government granted a disposal licence ti Shell to sink the Brent Spar.

30 April 1995, Greenpeace asserted that Brent Spar still contained 5,500 tonnes of crude oil.

4/1995, Greenpeace occupied the Brent Spar oil platform to prevent it�s being sunk in the North Sea.

12/1994, The UK Government approved Shell�s plans to sink the Brent Spar.

1993, Shell decided to sink the Brent Spar oil platform in the North Sea, at the North Feni Ridge.

9/1991. The Brent Spar oil platform ceased operations.

1976, The Brent Spar oil platform entered service in the North Sea.


1997, Salmon returned to the River Rhine, after a major pollution incident on 1 November 1986, when a chemical factory fire caused the river to run red. Fireman�s water had bene contained but the containment wall gave way and a mix of agricultural chemicals and heavy metals was released.
3 April 1993, Animal Rights activists disrupted the Grand National at Aintree, Liverpool.

3 June 1992, The United NationsEarth Summit began in Rio de Janeiro. Delegates agreed to protect biodiversity and combat global warming. This led to the UN Framework Convention oin Climate Change, which came into force in 1994. This Framework called for developed countries to reduce CO2 emissions to 1990, and provided for technological assistance to developing countries. These measures were strengthened by the Kyoto Protocol, 1997. The USA, however, refused to sign the agreement on biodiversity, seeing it as a threat to its economic growth.

15 December 1991. Wildlife investigators uncovered an illegal plot to sell 15,000 elephant tusks for �6 million, in defiance of the international ban on the ivory trade. The 83 tons of ivory had been bought from the Government of Burundi by 2 South African businessmen, to sell in the Far East. 80% of Africa�s elephants had been slaughtered for their tusks in the previous 10 years.

1990, The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) was formed at the second World Climate Change Conference.

16 October 1989, At a committee of the Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), at Lausanne, Switzerland, a ban on the international ivory trade was passed by 76 votes to 11. This caused the price of ivory to plummet from US$100 per lb to under 2$. Previously, poachers had reduced the African elephant population from 1.3 million in 1979 to 610,000 in 1989.

18 November 1988, Two years after a serious pollution incident damaged the Rhine River, the first warning station in a chain of sensors was installed at Huningue, France, to monitor the river for pollutants.

1987, The Brundtland Report was published.

1986, The UK emitted 1,937,000 tonnes of nitrous oxides to the atmosphere this year, 40% from power stations and 40% from road vehicles. Oxides of nitrogen and sulphur create acid rain and kill forests and lake life.

1986, Walter G Rosen reportedly first proposed the term biodiversity.

1 November 1986, A spill of toxic chemicals turned the River Rhine red.

1985, In response to concerns about the sustainability of tropical wood harvesting, and related matters such as soil erosion in deforested areas, some countries signed the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA). However some countries did ont sign up.

29 December 1985, Dian Fossey, US zoologist and conservationist, died.

1984, The pesticide DDT was banned in Britain.

31 August 1983, Russell Doig of Surrey won a special prize for catching a salmon in the Thames, the first salmon caught there for 150 years. The fish weighed 6 lb.

1982, Dutch Elm Disease killed 20 million elm trees in Britain, 66% of the total population.

12 August 1980, The first Giant Panda born in captivity was successfully delivered at a zoo in Mexico.

3 January 1980, British naturalist Joy Adamson, author of the book Born Free, was murdered in a Kenyan game park.

4 October 1979, British biologist James Lovelock published his book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth.

1978, US Congress banned the manufacture of PCBs (Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls) after they had been shown to persist in the environment and build up in higher food chain animals. PCBs, once used as coolant and insulators for industrial equipment,could cause liver damage and impede reproduction.

1976, Pooper Scoopers were introduced so dog powners could clear up their pet�s faeces.

10 July 1976. After an explosion at a chemical plant at Seveso, Italy, a 7 km radius was contaminated with dioxin, a weed killer. Crops and 40,000 animals died, and the number of abnormal births rose dramatically.

12 November 1974. A salmon was caught in the Thames, the first since around 1840. It was retrieved from the filters of West Thurrock power station.

28 December 1973, US President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act, providing further environmental protection.

2 November 1973, The IMCO Conference for Marine Pollution attended by 665 delegates from 79 countries, ended in London.

29 June 1973,President Nixon warned US Congress that the US, with just 6% of the world population, consumed one third of the world�s energy supply, and that energy supplies were not infinite.

1972, Blueprint for Survival was published by the editors of The Ecologist magazine.

1972, The USA restricted the use of the weedkiller DDT after it was found to cause thinning of bird�s egg shells, reducing their reproductive success.

1972, The Club of Rome published �The Limits to Growth�, highlighting the dangers of natural resource depletion.

1972, The USA passed the Clean water Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments. This followed spectacular incidents in 1969 when the Cuyahoga River, Ohio, caught fire, and in the same year a record fish die off of 26 million fish was recorded in Florida�s Lake Thomnotosassa, blamed on pollution from food processing plants.

16 November 1972, UNESCOs World Heritage Convention was adopted. This seeks to preserve sites of major cultural or biological significance around the world.

28 October 1972, The USA signed the Federal Noise Control Act, limiting noise emissions by trucks, buses, trains and construction equipment.

23 July 1972, The US launched Landsat I, a satellite that could monitor Earth�s natural resources and their depletion from space.

22 April 1970, The first Earth Day was held in the USA, sponsored by Senator Gaylord Nelson.

1969, Muskoxen, which became extinct from Alaska in the 19c, were reintroduced there.

1965, The annual cisco fish catch in Lake Erie collapsed to 1,000 lbs. From 1885 to 1925 it had averaged 25 million lbs annually, but then abruptly fell to 6,000,000 lbs in 1926, declining more thereafter. Industrial pollution, sewage, eutrophication and lack of oxygen in the Great Lakes caused a collapse in many fish species, and a replacement by species less valued siuch as carp and sheepshead fish. Algal blooms have also occurred.

17 December 1963, The USA passed the Clean Air Act, forerunner to the 1970 Clean Air Act which required major cuts in car emissions.

27 September 1962, Rachel Carson published �Silent Spring�. She was very concerned about the issue of pesticides in the environment. By December, half a million copies had been printed, and even US President John F Kennedy was influenced.

22 February 1962, Steve Irwin, environmentalist, was born.

1958, A plague of locusts in Somalia was so large it covered 1,000 square kilometres.

22 December 1938. The coelacanth, a fish though to have been extinct for 65 million years, was caught off the coast of South Africa.

13 April 1938, Grey Owl, conservationist, died. He had styled himself as an indigenous Canadian, but was in fact English.

1935, The term �ecosystem� was first used by AG Tansley, to describe the entire interdendent system of organisms and the environment. The word was slow to gain popular usage.

1901, The term �biota� was first used to describe the animal and plant life of a region.

1866, Ernst Hackel, biologist, coined the term ecology (oecologie in German)

24 March 1936, David Suzuki, environmentalist, was born.

1935, In the US, President Roosevelt signed the Soil Conservation Act, nominating Hugh Hammond, 54, to head the new Soil Conservation Service. Hammond had estimated that in terms of diminished agricultural productivity alone, soil erosion was costing around US$ 400 million a year; dust storms were turning day into night and halting traffic.

1934, First known use of the term �biomass�, as in the total weight of all organisms in a certain area.

3 April 1934, Jane Goodall, British zoologist who studied gorillas in Tanzania in the 1960s, was born.

18 January 1933, Botanist and conservationist David Bellamy was born.

16 December 1932, Dian Fossey, US zoologist and conservationist was born.

7 March 1927,Betty Leslie-Melville, wildlife conservationist, was born (died 23 September 2005)

1926, The corgi dog, a short legged animal whose name means �dwarf dog� in Welsh, was introduced as a pet breed. It became popular amongst the British Royal Family.

September 1919, Dutch Elm Disease was first observed in The Netehrlands. By the 1930s it was spreading across the rest of Europe, including Britain, and had also reached the USA.

1915, In Britain, so-called �nature reserves� were set up; areas of land managed so as to preserve the natural flora and fauna.

8 June 1908, US President Roosevelt appointed Gifford Pinchot as head of the National Conservation Commission. This was the start ofUS Government involvement in the nation�s environment.

27 May 1907, Rachel Louise Carson, marine biologist and US author, author of Silent Spring, was born.

1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the USA�s first national wildlife refuge, at Pelican Island, off the east coast of Florida, 87 square miles.

1895, The buffalo, which had once numbered millions across America, was now down to just 400 in the entire USA.

1876, In the UK the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed, to curb the use of live animals in scientific experiments.

1858, A few dozen English rabbits were released on the Australian estate of landowner Thomas Austin, to provide shooting sport. Over the next six years, Austin shot 200,000 rabbits, but this was barely half the total population. Five of the fast-breeding animals could eat more grass than one sheep, so causing major problems for sheep farmers.

21 April 1838, John Muir, US environmentalist who called for the preservation of wilderness areas, was born.

1281, King Edward I commissioned Peter Corbet, �The Mighty Hunter�, to clear all wolves from England�s forests.

1220, The first giraffes were exhibited in Europe.


Botanical Gardens

18 April 1891, New York Botanical Gardens was founded.

1848, The Palm House at Kew Gardens opened. This promoted a fashion for palms amongst Victorian Britons.

1840, Kew Botanical Gardens, London, opened.

8 May 1820. The United States Botanic Garden was established in Washington, DC.

1593, The first botanical gardens in France were established by the University of Montpellier.

26 June 1545. A botanical garden was established in Padua. This, or the garden in Pisa, is the oldest such garden in Europe. This was just after Europeans first saw the Aztec Gardens of Montezuma I at Huaxtepec, Mexico.

1400 BCE, Queen Hatshepshut of Egypt kept a cpollection of exotic plants and animals, including frankincense and other specimens froim what is now Somalia. Her successor, Pharaoh Thutmose III, extended this collection with plants from Palestine and Syria.


Zoological Gardens

1972, Blackpool Tower Zoo, UK, closed down and a new zoo opened on the site of Stanley Park Aerodrome, 3km inland/

26 March 1959, Jersey Zoological Park opened.

2 June 1938. Robert and Edward Kennedy, youngest sons of the American Ambassador to London, opened the Children�s Zoo at Regents Park. Children were charged 6d to watch the chimp�s tea party.

18/5.1934, Dudley Zoo, Birmingham, opened.

1931, London Zoo began a breeding programme of endangered animals at Whipsnade.

1926, A zoo was established in Mexico City,

28 July 1931, Chessington Zoo opened.

22 July 1913, Edinburgh Zoo opened.

19 July 1913, Paignton Zoo (Primley Zoological Gardens) opened.

20 April 1906, An Australian wombat, the oldest known marsupial, died in London Zoo aged 26.

1896, Denver Zoo was established in City Park, for the purpose of displaying only indigenous Colorado wildlife. In 1898 it acquired a herd of buffalo, a few months before the last wild herd in the State was killed.

1889, The world�s first insect house opened at Regents Park Zoo, London

1874, The first zoo in the USA was established, at Philadelphia.

25 May 1850, The first hippopotamus to be kept in Britain arrived at London Zoo.

1849, The world�s first reptile house opened at Regents Park Zoo, London

1841, Berlin zoo opened.

11 July 1836, Bristol Zoo opened.

27 April 1828. London Zoological Gardens opened in Regents Park.

1793, In the aftermath of the French Revolution, a zoo was established at the Museum of Natural History, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris. French Revolutionaries had taken over various royal collections of animals, and these animals were used for biological research as well as for public exhibition.

31 July 1752. The oldest zoo in Europe opened, in Vienna.

4 September 1733, The first lioness to be kept in Britain died of old age.

1641, Nicolaas Tulp described the first living gorilla brought to Holland.

1569, Emperor Maximilian II of Austria kept a large collection of animals in Vienna.

1519, The Spanish invading the Inca Empire, Mexico, discovered, and destroyed, a large ;animal garden� at Technochtitlan.

1200, Three leopards given by Frederick II of Sicily to his brother-in-law Henry III of England became the first residents of the menagerie at the Tower of London. In 1828 the animals of this menagerie were transferred to the new Zoological Gardens at Regents Park, London.

1100, King Henry I of England kept a collection of foreign animals presented to him by other monarchs at Woodstock, Oxfordshire. This included lions, leopards, lynxes and camels. He also has an African porcupoine, a gift of William of Montpellier.

300 BCE, Alexander the Great of Greece kept a collection of some 300 animals

1000 BCE, Kong Solomon of Israel kept a menagerie.

1490 BCE, Queen Hatshepshut of Egypt organised an animal-collecting expedition, which travelled south along thye Red Sea to what is now Somalia.

1975 BCE, The world�s first zoo was established; the Park of Intelligence, in China.


Appensix � Air Quality

4 March 1985, In the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of leaded fuel for motor vehicles.

1971, It was announced that 250,000 tons of lead were being discharged from vehicle exhaust pipes every year in the US alone (see road transport technology). Lead pollution, first discovered in the animals at Staten Island Zoo, was also found inside humans living in New York.

5 July 1956, Britain passed the Clean Air Act. This gave industry seven years to stop emitting �dark smoke�. This was in the aftermath of the infamous 1952 London Smog, which kicked 4,000 people.

1951, Britain�s first smokeless zone was set up, in Coventry. In 1955 London was declared a smokeless zone. In 1956 Britain passed the Clean Air Act.

1935, Manchester first proposed the idea of smokeless zones in urban areas.

1929, In Britain, the National Smoke Abatement Society was set up.

29 November 1921, London suffered a severe smog, with pollution so bad that inside cinemas on Stoke Newington the projector lamp could not illuminate the screen.

1905, The term �smog� was coined for a combination of fog and smoke that affected London and other British cities, causing many deaths.

1 January 1864, In the US, the Alkali Act was passed. It was the first legislation of modern times concerning the environment. The Leblanc process of producing sodium carbonate released large amounts of hydrochloric acid into the atmosphere.

1856, In Britain, between 1853 and 1856, a series of Smoke Abatement Acts were passed in order to improve the quality of air in urban areas.


Appendix � Extinctions

6 January 2000, The Pyrenean Ibex became the first extinction of the new millennium when a tree fell on the last individual, killing it. A cloned kid was born in 2009 but only survived seven minutes.

14 December 1994, In Australia the Wollemi pine, a relic from the age of the dinosaurs, was discovered growing in the Blue Mountains.

17 June 1987, The Dusky Seaside Sparrow became extinct as the last individual died. It had lived in the wetlands of Florida but much of its habitat was destroyed to make way for the Kennedy Space Centre and for new highways. Its food, mosquitoes, had been destroyed by DDT spraying, which then entered the birds themselves and caused their eggshells to thin, so their breeding was unviable. A captive breeding programme was begun at Disneyworld in the 1970s, but only 5 birds could be recovered, all male.Attempts were made to cross-breed them with similar sparrows to preserve some of the species characteristics but this failed, and by 3/1986 only one of the sparrows was still alive.

1952, The cheetah was declared extinct in India. Hunting by the British, diminishing habitat, and killing by farmers as the animal threateed livestock, were to blame. In 2022 African cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa were reintroduced to a National park in Madhya Pradesh, India.

20 November 1948, The New Zealand flightless Takahe bird had only been sighted 4x between 1800 and 1900 and was presumed extinct. However this day Dr Geoffrey Orbell located the first individual of what was found to be a colony of 250 individuals in the Murchison Mountains, South Island.

1944, The last ivory-billed woodpecker died when its last habitat, a wood in Louisiana,USA, was felled by the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company.

23 March 1943, The Xerces Blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces) was seen for the last time, and is presumed to have become extinct, its habitat in the sand dunes near San Francisco Bay having been destroyed by the growth of the California city.

1938, The Coelocanth fish was believed extinct until one was caught this year near the Comoros Islands.

6 September 1936, The last thylacine (Tasmanian marsupial tiger) died in a zoo in Hobart, Tasmania

1933, The last known Tasmanian Wolf died in a zoo; however there were later unverified reports of this animal in the wild.

1918, Death of the last California Parakeet, in captivity, The last confirmed sighting in the wild was in 1914, though there were alleged sightings for some decades afterwards.

1 September 1914, The last passenger pigeon, a bird which once dominated the skies of America, became extinct as the last individual died in Cincinnati Zoo.

12 August 1883, The last quagga (a sub-species of the zebra) died, at Amsterdam Zoo.

1875, Last sighting of the Falkland Islands wolf.

3 July 1844, The Great Auk became extinct when fishermen killed the last breeding pair of the flightless birds in Iceland.

1786, The last wolf was killed in Ireland, by John Watson of Ballydarton, Leighlinbridge, a master of foxhounds.

1768, Steller�s Sea Cow was hunted to extinction, just 27 years after the species after the species was discovered on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

1743, The last wolf was killed in Scotland.

1683, Wild boars became extinct in Britain.

1630, The last dodo was killed. Native to Mauritius, it was a flightless bird about the size of a turkey, prized by saillors for food. Meanwhile, rats, pigs and monkeys introduced to Mauritius ate the dodo�s eggs.

1627, The last auroch (ancestor of domestic cattle) died in Poland.

1297, The Giant Moas Bird was now extinct in what is now New Zealand.

1290, The last wolf in England was killed, by Peter Corbet, exterminator to King Edward I. This made it much safer to graze sheep. In turn this reinforced England�s leading position in the lucrative wool trade.


Appendix a - Environmental and Conservation Organisations (see also Morals � Animal Welfare)

1992, The British Green Party failed to match its success of 1989, winning just 1.3% of the vote in the General Election.

1989, The British Green Party, founded by Sara Parkin (born 1946) and Jonathan Porritt (born 1950) came from nowhere to take 2.3 million votes, a 15% share, in elections for the European Parliament.

1983, 28 �Greens� were elected to the German Bundestag.

1981, 9 �Green� MPs were elected to the Belgian Parliament.

1979, The first �Green� member of the Swiss parliament was elected.

1977, Sustrans was founded, in Bristol, to campaign for environmentally-sustainable transport and combat the problems of traffic congestion and pollution.

1976, Greenpeace was founded in Britain (see15 September 1971)

1973, In Britain the Ecological Party was founded � known since 1985 as the Green Party

15 September 1971, Greenpeace was founded, as a result of protests against a US nuclear test on Amchitka Island, Alaska. On this day Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote and Irving Stowe set sail in the boat Phyllis Cormack for the test site in the Quaker tradition of �proetsting by observing the misdeed�. The three protestors named their initiative �Greenpeace�. In the event ferocious storms both forced the boat to shelter in the Aleutian Islands and caused the nuclear test to be postponed. The test eventually took place on 6 November 1971; Greenpeace did succeed in mobilising public protests so that President Nixon cancelled the nuclear tests scheduled for 1971. In 1983 it had 1,500,000 members. By 1991 it had 6,750,000 members.

9 May 1971, In Britain, Friends of the Earth was founded. On this day its first action was to dump thousands of non-returnable Schweppes bottles on the doorstep of the company�s headquarters as part of a campaign for recyclable bottles.

29 April 1961, The World Wildlife Fund was founded in Switzerland. In 1983 it had 100,000 members. By 1991 it had 1,000,000 members.

1926, In Britain, the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) was set up by Patrick Abercrombie.

1924, The League Against Cruel Sports was formed to campaign against hunting, also hare coursing and badger baiting.

1919, The Save The Redwoods League was formed in the USA. It helped create national parks in California where the huge tress wouldnot be felled by loggers.

20 September 1917. The first RSPCA animal clinic was opened in Liverpool.

5/1909, The Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia (WPSA) was founded in Sydney, Australia to encourage the protection of, and to cultivate interest in, the Australian flora and fauna.

11 December 1903, The first wildlife preservation society was formed in Britain.It was called The Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire.

1899, In Britain, the Coal Smoke Abatement Society was formed.

1897, The Blue Cross was founded, originally known as Our Dumb Friends� League. It changed its name to parallel the Red Cross. It opened an animal hospital in 1906 near Victoria Station, London.

1895, In Britain, the National Trust was founded.

10 April 1866, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Aniamls (ASPCA) was founded by New York shipbuilder�s son Henry Bergh, 43, who served as the first president of the ASPCA. It�s main objective was preventing the abuse of horses.

1860, Battersea Dogs Home was founded, initially sited in Holloway. By 1869 around 200 dogs were housed there and neighbours complained about the noise, and in 1871 the Home was moved to Battersea. Stray cats have also been taken in since 1882.

15 June 1824. The RSPCA was founded in London.


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