Our Lazarus moth

Scientists tell us that there have, in the planet’s history, been five mass extinctions, the most famous of which wiped out the dinosaurs. 

They also warn that we are experiencing a sixth, but this time species are becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate, because of human activity. 

Presumed extinct Moth “Suspecta” found in Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park

Many species died out, because they could not adapt to a changing environment. 

Corncrakes and curlews are just two contemporary examples of that.

There are Lazarus species, too — animals once thought lost, but rediscovered. The Coelacanth may be the most famous of these. 

It was thought lost at the same time as the dinosaurs, but one was discovered off South Africa 80 years ago. 

A Lazarus species may have just been rediscovered in Ireland. 

A Suspected moth has been found at restored peatland, at Lullymore, in Kildare. This species was last seen in Ireland in 1962. 

If confirmed, this will be a cause for celebration, but it should not lull us into the idea that nature is more robust than we realise. 

The evidence to the contrary is all around us.

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