Extinction is Forever

by Mason Schwacke

St. Petersburg, USA – November 2020


Finding This Mural

1400 3rd Street South, St. Petersburg, FL, USA

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Story Behind This Mural


This mural was created in partnership with

Artist Statement

My mural highlights four local species at risk. The smalltooth sawfish, giant manta ray, oceanic whitetip shark, and scalloped hammerhead shark are all found in the southeastern United States and are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Sharks and rays are cartilaginous fish known as elasmobranchs. Many elasmobranchs live in temperate and tropical oceans, and they play an important role in balancing ocean ecosystems. Sawfish and many sharks are top-level predators that help keep ecosystems in balance. While manta rays, whale sharks, and basking sharks are lower-level consumers that feed on different plankton types. These planktivores are important ocean health indicators, regulate plankton abundance and community structure, and promote nutrient cycling with their diving behavior.⁣ By bringing these incredible species into the streets of St. Petersburg, we have an awesome opportunity to connect with people and demonstrate the beauty, plight, and importance of species in need within our communities.

The Focus

Shark and ray conservation