Hype. What image does that word evoke in your mind? Is it a massive super-conference? A truly exclusive drop? Goblins? For wildlife photographer Tim Flach, it’s Spix’s Macaw taking flight in the wild for the first time in 22 years.
On June 11, 2022, Spix’s Macaw became the first species to go “unextinct,” with a group of birds being released in Bahia state, Brazil. To celebrate the watershed moment in animal conservation, Flach partnered with Atlas Labs and the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) for his debut into the NFT space: Project Unextinct — a collection of images of Spix’s Macaw.
An ongoing historical event
The release of this first group back into the wild marks the first instance in recorded history of a species recovering from being declared extinct.
Speaking on the significance of this project in a press release, Flach explained, “This is a seminal once-in-a-lifetime event, the unprecedented release of the Spix’s macaw back into the wild, from which it has been extinct for a generation! This umbrella species is inspiring a regeneration of its indigenous habitat and the biodiversity of the region. I feel honored to be documenting and participating in this historical event.”
As fully reintroducing the Spix’s Macaw back into their natural habitat will likely be a years-long process, NFTs from Project Unextinct are slated to provide holders with all sorts of long-term perks. Most notably, this will include access to the Unextinct NFT collectors community, where members will receive bi-weekly updates on the status of the eight freed Macaws. Holders will also be given priority access to participate in an event later this year that will see the second group of Spix’s released into the wild.
NFTs for the environment
While NFTs have been utilized to help fund conservation efforts for endangered animal species in the past, this project sets itself apart by granting holders active participation in the conservation efforts. For every NFT sold the Unextinct team will plant a tree in Caatinga, helping to restore the Spix’s natural habitat, and making the NFT space as a whole more environmentally sustainable.
The Unextinct team isn’t stopping there — they’ve also pledged to offset twice the amount of carbon produced by the NFT sale via direct air capture. With this, Project Unextinct’s sale has been touted by its team as a completely carbon-negative transaction.
Atlas Labs CEO Sam Dhesi hopes this event won’t be the last of its kind in the NFT space. “Unextinct is the perfect example of a world-first endeavor that will set the scene for countless ‘unextinction” events in the near future. We’re extremely proud to be supporting the incredible team behind this global effort,” he said in a press release.