Exhibition: On the Trail of Vanishing Species

19 October 2017 – 30 December 2018 
Open Tu–Su 10am – 6pm
in the University of Tartu Natural History Museum at 46 Vanemuise St
Entrance: museum ticket

Species are now becoming extinct as fast as 60 million years ago when dinosaurs disappeared from our planet and scientists have been drawing attention to the gravity of the situation for some time already. On the average, two species of vertebrates become extinct every year and three square kilometres of topsoil are lost every day. Let alone the fact that estimates suggest the total number of animals on Earth has decreased by close to 50% over the last 40 years.

While the above facts are primarily a source of concern for wildlife protectors and researchers, in layman’s terms they mean that soon we may no longer encounter tigers, polar bears, giraffes and elephants in the wild and – closer to home – even the thick cover of bilberry shrubs that we take for granted on the floor of Estonian pine forests may not be there forever. By 2050, up to one third of currently extant species may become extinct.

The exhibition On the Trail of Vanishing Species consists of several distinct parts. While walking around the permanent exhibition of the museum, visitors can use their smartphone or tablet to read the stories of 40 species from all over the world that have become a rarity and learn what has been done to prevent them from disappearing altogether. The Hall of Temporary Exhibitions holds an exhibition entitled Species Disappearing from Estonian Forests, which allows visitors to learn the growth stages of Estonia’s forests from young wood to ancient woodland and become aware of how forest management impacts the biological diversity of our forest. Visitors will meet the Siberian flying squirrel, the black stork, the European mink and other species that are disappearing from Estonia’s forests. Visitors can play an educational computer game about the vitality of Estonian forests. There is also an educational programme for schools discussing the reasons for decreasing biological diversity.

The preparation of the exhibition was supported by the Environmental Investment Centre of Estonia.

Authors of the exhibition

Exhibition realized by: University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Gardens
Curators: Riste Keskpaik, Rein Kuresoo
Concept: Andro Truuverk
Design of the exhibition Eesti metsa kaduvad liigid: Margot Sakson
Digital exhibition realized by: Allan Zirk and Nunoonius Ltd
Computer game realized by: 5D Vision Ltd

Further information:
University of Tartu Natural History Museum
Phone +372 737 6076