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#359 Lord Howe Abalone

Critically Endangered

Unfortunately there are no real known numbers for this sea snail, but it is known the numbers are very low. There was a survey done in 2019 and in all the areas searched, only 6 of them were found. They are very sensitive to heat waves. Add to that over-fishing, oil spills, and their habitat degrading and things do not look positive for them. In the past few years there have been several coral bleaching events in one of the areas they are known to live. As you can imagine, coral bleaching can have a huge impact to anything that is part of the ecosystem there. Full disclosure here, I have no idea what the actual snail looks like. I saw pictures of quite a few empty shells, but I certainly did not want to paint an empty shell. I did find pictures of other abalone, though even the more common ones rarely have pictures of inhabited shells. I looked at as many as I could, and decided to sort of average the ones I found. It may be lighter, may be more ruffly instead of wispy looking, or it might be very much like this. I do not really have the time to contact biologists about the last animals on my list to clarify things, so I am going to allow myself more leeway toward the end here.

I assume that with the next year of this project I will want to do some mini-series again. I just this minute had an idea for one. It would be fun to contact the natural museums in the capital cities of a bunch of countries and ask the director what their favourite endangered animal is or what one they think should get more attention. I could then paint those. I have a friend in Norway, one in Japan, and a friend whose native language is Spanish, so I could get a request translated by them. That means I can at least contact people in Japan, Norway, Mexico and a few more Spanish speaking countries (he might not feel comfortable doing Spanish for use in Spain), the UK, Canada, US, and undoubtedly a few more countries I would be able to manage. That could be a lot of fun. Either the natural museums, or possibly approaching universities that are known for their biology department. I could even contact museums only in countries I've been to. That might make it easier, except I don't have someone to translate to Albanian. I think there is a sub on Reddit where you can get things translated, but I do have a natural cynicism that would mean I'd be nervous they truly translated things correctly. Sort of like the people who have a tattoo they think says "courage" in another language, and they end up finding out it means something like "beef curry". I'm just essentially thinking while I type at the moment. I come up with entirely too many ideas, this project could easily end up going for the rest of my life if I try to do everything I come up with.

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