Hawaiian Monk Seals and Homelessness: Extinction Stories for Multispecies Justice

This story discusses the tendency among conservation scientists to characterize endangered species as “homeless.” It uses my personal experiences living in Eugene, Oregon, and the contentious removal of a Hawaiian monk seal from the island of Moloka'i to suggest that displacement is experienced by people and species together. As these examples demonstrate, addressing houselessness and homelessness requires multispecies justice.

The Living Archive: Extinction Stories from Oceania is a multimedia space that provides a platform for people to tell their own stories, in their own ways, about what extinction means and how it matters in their lives and places. The Living Archive is grounded in the understanding that personal narratives have the potential to explore local complexity in ways that are relatable and meaningful, and that generate engagement, connection and attentiveness in this time of great loss.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of country in Australia. This project is rooted in the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the area on which the University of Sydney now stands. We pay our respect to their elders, past, present, and to come.