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Data Visualization: Extinct Plants
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Extinct Plants

The destruction of natural habitats is caused by human activities deployed to satisfy our ever-increasing needs (e.g. energy production, agriculture). As a consequence, all realms of life are undergoing important population declines. The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species aggregates distribution data, which I used to visualize the 165 plants that are considered extinct as of today.
Legend

For each continent, species are represented by a flower with 11 Threats petals, and sorted vertically by the period they were Last Seen. Each flower connects with a Class symbol at the bottom, which also contains the Name, Country of origin, and Category (species that are Extinct in the Wild remain in cultivation centers such as botanical gardens).
Africa.  Several African plants have gone extinct due to grazing pressure from introduced livestock, such as goats an sheep (petals #1, 7). This is the case for Sporobolus durus, also impacted by landslides (petal #5), and Oldenlandia adscensionis.
Asia.  The causes of extinction of only a few Asian plants have been determined. Sterculia khasiana's habitat extent saw a sharp reduction upon extensive agricultural activities and fires (petals #1, 10). Likewise, Indonesia-native Etlingera heyneana, a monocotyledon species, disappeared due to the replacement of its natural habitat by residential and commercial buildings (petal #3).
Europe.  A total of 10 European plants have gone extinct. The decline of Nobregaea latinervis, a Portugal-native moss species, is likely due to its close proximity with human activities such as agricultural fields and residences (petals #1, 3).
North America.  A common cause of extinction is the introduction of invasive species (petal #7) – exposure to pigs and weeds precipitated the decline of endemic Cyanea sp. on the Hawaiian islands. Research efforts are, however, conducted to reintroduce other species such as the Governor Laffan's Fern (diplazium laffanianum).
Oceania.  The most vulnerable species typically thrive in localized and fragile ecosystems. This is the case for Stellaria elatinoides, a New Zealand-native flowering plant, gone extinct due to the degradation of wetlands and introduction of weeds on the islands (petals #7, 10).
South America.  Another significant contributor to the decline of plant species is their unregulated harvesting for commercial use. As an example, the main threat of extinct Sophora toromiro trees, native of Chilean islands, was the logging of their wood for carving (petal #9).
Workflow

To start off, I filtered the IUCN Red List database for extinct plant species. Then, I sorted the downloaded spreadsheet in Excel and drew graphic representations of useful variables on paper. I worked with the Pen tool and distribution techniques in Photoshop to vectorize the drawings, and added texture and depth using layer effects, filters, and masks.
Data Visualization: Extinct Plants
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Florent Lavergne

Data Visualization: Extinct Plants

In this dataviz project we focus on extinct plant species. The infographics are based on distribution data available at iucnredlist.org. To creat Read More
683
10.8k
32
Published:
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