15 Animal Species That Are Now Extinct (Mainly Thanks To Us Humans)

15 Animal Species That Are Now Extinct (Mainly Thanks To Us Humans)

In general, we’ve had a lot of advancement over the over the years…and when I say that most people are obviously going to think of the huge progression and changes we’ve had in technology, the rise of the iPhone, streaming services and medical advances…but alas, no flying cars yet!

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But sadly, despite our progression in the material ways, humans have a way ruining things that are more of a ‘natural’ nature.

We’re great at technology and finding loads of new ways in which to watch TV, but not so good at taking care of the planet that we’re actually on, and the creatures we share it with.

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& Sadly, due to this fact, we’ve had to say goodbye to quite a few species over the past decade or so…and some poor things are only just hanging by a thread!

So, sorry to be a downer, but we’re bringing you a list of animals, birds and insects that we’ve lost over the past decade or so (and some that are only just hanging in there!)
We’ve lost some by our own actions…and some by natural causes.

But, did we do enough to save them in any case? I’ll let you make your own mind up on that one!

1. The Derwent River Sea Star

juvenile Derwent River Sea Star
As you can probably tell already, The Derwent River sea star borrowed its name from its location and it could only be found in five sections of the Derwent River, located in Tasmania, Australia. It was first discovered by Alan Dartnall, an ex-curator of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in 1969. The Australian government originally listed it as the ‘hanging by a thread’ kind…but unfortunately, surveys conducted in 1993 and 2010 failed to find a single sea star.

2. Golden Toad

A golden toad sits on a leaf
This gorgeous little guy is also sometimes referred to as the Monteverde toad or the orange toad (you can see why!), and he was a species that only resided in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve in Costa Rica. There were once quite common, but sadly, none have been found in the wild since 1989 and sources are citing global warming as the cause of this poor guy’s demise.

3. Hawaiian Crow

A Hawaiian Crow perched on a limb
This native Hawaiian bird was declared “extinct in the wild” in 2002 when the last two of its kind disappeared. Some of these magnificent birds remained in captivity, and between 1993 and 1999, more than 40 birds were hatched in a captive breeding program. But sadly, it wasn’t successful. Causes of the bird’s demise aren’t fully known, but some people believe that introduced diseases such as avian malaria, may have been a cause.

4. Pyrenean Ibex

An illustration of the Pyrenean Ibex
The Pyrenean Ibex is one of two extinct subspecies of the Spanish Ibex. These magnificent creatures were once thriving and roamed across France and Spain, but numbers increasingly declined over the years and sadly, the last one, a female (nicknamed “Celia”), was found dead in northern Spain on Jan. 6, 2000, she was killed by a falling tree (how sad!) Experts believe that poaching was a main cause of their demise.

5. Spix Macaw

Spix's macaws in captivity in Germany
Although around 5o of these beautiful birds still exist in captivity, the last known bird in the wild disappeared in the year 2000 and no others are known to remain.
The demise of the Spix’s Macaw is thought to be mainly down to hunting and trapping, habitat destruction and the introduction of “killer bees,” which compete for nesting areas.

6. West African Black Rhino

West African black rhino in Kenya
This beautiful guy was the rarest of the black rhino subspecies and sadly, he is now officially recognized by the ICUN as extinct. He was once widespread in central Africa, but his population began a steep decline due to poaching.

7. The Liverpool Pigeon

Illustration of the Liverpool pigeon
Sometimes also known as the spotted green pigeon, this is an extinct bird species of a currently unknown location, although some researchers think that it might have lived in Tahiti.
The only remaining specimen of this bird is in the Merseyside County Museum. Experts don’t currently know what caused its demise.

8. Black-faced Honeycreeper

Black-faced honeycreeper perched on a human hand
No, it’s not a Drag name or a creature from a horror movie… It’s a beautiful bird which originates from Hawaii’s island of Maui and is currently listed as “critically endangered/possibly extinct.”
Of the three known birds that were discovered in 1998, one sadly died in captivity in 2004, and the remaining two have also not been seen since that year, experts now believe that the species may already be extinct. Habitat destruction and disease-carrying mosquitos are thought to be the cause of their demise.

9. The Baiji dolphin

Baiji river dolphin
Sometimes known as the Yangtze River dolphin, this beautiful creature lives in China and is listed as critically endangered, but unfortunately, experts say that it may already be extinct. The last known sighting of his gorgeous guy was in 2002. Experts say that overfishing, boat traffic, habitat loss, pollution and poaching all contributed to his demise. Beautifully nicknamed as “the goddess of the river,” this dolphin’s skin was highly valuable and therefore, heartbreakingly, was used to make things such as gloves and handbags. (I hate humans, sometimes!)

10. Holdridge’s Toad

Holdridge's toad on a mossy surface
This little guy was a species of Toad that lived in the rainforests of Costa Rica. He was declared extinct in 2004 because none of his kind has been seen since 1986. The main cause of the toad’s population decline and extinction is likely to be diseases such as chytridiomycosis, which is an amphibian disease…and climate change.

11. Alaotra Grebe

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This weird looking feathery friend is sometimes also known as a “Delacour’s little grebe” or a “rusty grebe”, and he was declared extinct in 2010, although experts believe that he may have been extinct years earlier. His population began to decline in the 20th century, seemingly because of habitat destruction and also because the few remaining birds started mating with “little grebes”, therefore creating a hybrid species.

12. Quagga

The Quagga (Equus quagga ssp. quagga) was a subspecies of the common plains zebra and a native of South Africa. Known for its unique stripes, the Quagga was hunted for its hide and killed by ranchers who believed the animals competed with livestock for grazing area, according to PBS. The last known Quagga died at the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.
This lovely creature was a subspecies of the common Zebra and a was native of South Africa. He was known for his unique stripes, but sadly, he was relentlessly hunted for his hide and was killed by ranchers who believed the animals competed with livestock for grazing area.

13. Javan Tiger

The Javan tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. sondaica) was a tiger subspecies that likely became extinct in the mid-1970s, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Hunting and a loss of forest habitat led to their demise. Although the tiger was last seen in 1976, the head of East Java's Meru Betiri National Park announced in 2011 that he was "optimistic" that Javan tigers were still alive, according to the Jakarta Globe. Camera traps were set up in hopes of confirming any tiger sightings.

This tiger was a subspecies that more than likely became extinct in the mid-1970s, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Unfortunately, hunting and a loss of forest habitat led to their demise.
The tiger was last seen in 1976.

14. Passenger Pigeon

The passenger pigeon may have once constituted 25 to 40 percent of the bird population in what is now the U.S., according to the Smithsonian Institution. As many as 3 to 5 billion of these birds were alive when Europeans arrived. The birds' traditional habitats were the large forests of eastern North America. As settlers cleared the forests for farmland, the pigeons turned to the new fields for subsistence. "The large flocks of passenger pigeons often caused serious damage to the crops, and the farmers retaliated by shooting the birds and using them as a source of meat," explains the Smithsonian. The 19th century brought widespread hunting and trapping of the birds, which severely diminished their populations. The last passenger pigeon, named "Martha," died at age 29 at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.
The passenger pigeon may have once accounted for 25 to 40 per cent of the overall bird population in what is now the U.S., according to the Smithsonian Institution.
However, the 19th century brought with it, the widespread hunting and trapping of the birds, which severely diminished their populations. The last known passenger pigeon, sweetly nicknamed “Martha,” died at the age 29 at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.

15. The Sea Mink

The sea mink (Neovison macrodon) once lived along the coasts of Maine and New Brunswick, but was prized for its fur and was hunted to extinction in the second half of the 19th century. (Image: New York State Museum)
This cute fella once lived along the coasts of Maine and New Brunswick, but he was well known for the high price placed on him for his fur and he was, sadly, hunted to extinction in the second half of the 19th century.
Humans aren’t wonderful things, aren’t they!?

All images are sourced from and credited to The Huffington Post and Mother Nature Network

 

 

 



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