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Recently Extinct Animals

There have been a number of animals lost to the world over the last few hundred years. In the examples we will look at, human involvement was a major contributing factor to the decline and ultimate extinction of these animals.

West Black Rhinoceros (West African Black Rhinoceros)

A West African Black Rhinoceros and calf.

A subspecies of the black rhinoceros. It’s habitat included the savanna of sub-Saharan Africa; the west coast, specifically present day Cameroon . Poaching was attributed with it’s decline; it was declared extinct in 2011.

Portuguese Ibex

A subspecies of the Spanish Ibex native to Portugal and north western Spain, the Portuguese Ibex would go extinct by 1892 due in large part to the pressures of hunting.

Pyrenean Ibex

Pyrenean Ibex illustration from 1898.

Like the Portuguese Ibex, the Pyrenean Ibex was a subspecies of the Spanish Ibex. The Pyrenean Ibex was native to the mountains of northern Spain and southern France including the Pyrenees from which it got its name. Hunting was the major contributing factor in the animals decline; it was extinct by 2000.

Passenger Pigeon

Captive Passenger Pigeon circa 1896.

At one time the Passenger Pigeon was the most abundant bird in North America, and possibly even the world; by the twentieth century it was extinct. Hunting was a major factor in the decline of the Passenger Pigeon.

Quagga

A quagga mare at the London Zoo, 1870.

The quagga, a  subspecies of the plains zebra, once roamed an area covering the southern half of present day South Africa.  Unlike the plains zebra whose stripping pattern covers the majority of it’s body, the quagga’s stripping is largely on it’s head with the pattern fading as it blends into its mid section and hind quarters. The quagga went extinct in the ninteenth century due to the pressures of hunting.

Wild quagga went extinct by 1878.

Caribbean Monk Seal (Sea Wolf)

Sea Wolf

Native to the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and west Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean monk seal was extinct shortly after the middle of the twentieth century with the last confirmed sighting in 1952.

Sea Mink

Due to excessive hunting the Sea Mink, native to North America, was extinct by the turn of the twentieth century.

Falkland Islands Wolf (Warrah)
Falkland Islands Dog, Falkland Islands Fox, Antarctic Wolf, Malvinas Fox, Malvinas Wolf

Falkland Island Fox; illustration by John Gerrard Keulemans (1842–1912).

Extinct by the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the Falkland Islands Wolf declined due to hunting in addition to the animal being put down as it was seen as a threat to local livestock.

Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger)
Tasmanian Wolf

Thylacinus

Native to Australia and New Guinea, the Thylacine went extinct during the twentieth century. The Thylacine’s decline and extinction is believed to be due in large part to competition with humans. The Thylacine is notable for its stripping pattern starting on it’s midsection on the back and working back onto the tail.

Tecopa Pupfish

Tecopa Pup Fish

The small Tecopa pupfish was native to the Tecopa Hot Springs of California in the United States. It went extinct by the early 1970s due to human changes to it’s environment.

Dodo

Not a recently extinct animal although a noteworthy specimen none the less, is the Dodo. This flightless bird was native to the  island of Mauritius and went extinct in the 17th century due increased human presence in it’s natural habitat and accompanying ecological changes. Further the birds lack of fear of humans made it easy prey. Although the former is noted as playing the biggest role in the animals downfall.

Rodrigues Solitaire

Like the Dodo, a related species, the Rodrigues Solitaire is not a recently extinct animal. It was a flightless bird native to the island of Rodrigues, which like Mauritius, home of the Dodo, was near Madagascar. This bird went extinct in the 18th century due to an increased human presence in its natural habitat and the accompanying ecological changes.

Javan Tiger

Javan Tiger Circa the 1930s
Native to the Indonesian island of Java, the Javan Tiger went extinct in the last quarter of the 20th century due to loss of natural habitat and food sources due to ecological changes caused by humans; along with over hunting by humans of the animal.

Great Auk

The Great Auk was a flightless bird native to the coastal waters of the North Atlantic including areas of Canada, the United States, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Great Britain, France, and Spain. The Great Auk was hunted to extinction by the mid 19th century for its down and eggs.

Bubal Hartebeest

The Bubal Hartebeest is an exticnt subspecies of the hartebeest native to North Africa (North of the Saharan desert). The Bubal Hartebeest was hunted to extinction by the beginning of the 20th century.

Baiji White Dolphin

Baiji dolphin, photo from Chinadaily.com.cn

Native to China’s Yangtze river, the Baiji dolphin went extinct around the turn of the 21st century due in large part to China’s rapid industrialization.

Steller’s Sea Cow

This large, slow moving animal was hunted to extinction around the Commander Islands by the mid 18th century.

Works Cited

  1. Gerken, James. “11 Animals That Are Now Extinct … And It’s Our Fault.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/22/11-extinct-animals_n_4078988.html>.
  2. “Quagga.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 13 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quagga>.
  3. Knight, Matthew. “Western Black Rhino Declared Extinct.” Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/10/world/africa/rhino-extinct-species-report/>.
  4. “Western Black Rhinoceros.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 Aug. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_black_rhinoceros>.
  5. Nicks, Denver. “Western Black Rhino Declared Extinct.” TIME. 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <http://time.com/9446/western-black-rhino-declared-extinct/>.
  6. “Pyrenean Ibex.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 13 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrenean_ibex>.
  7. “Portuguese Ibex.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 12 Dec. 2013. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.
  8. “Passenger Pigeon.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 10 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_pigeon>.
  9. “Caribbean Monk Seal.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 26 Aug. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_monk_seal>.
  10. “Sea Mink.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 3 July 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_mink>.
  11. “Thylacine.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 9 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine>.
  12. “Falkland Islands Wolf.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkland_Islands_wolf>.
  13. “Tecopa Pupfish.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tecopa_pupfish>.
  14. “Dodo.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 3 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodo>.
  15. “Rodrigues Solitaire.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodrigues_solitaire>.
  16. “Javan Tiger.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javan_tiger>.
  17. “Great Auk.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 9 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_auk>.
  18. “Bubal Hartebeest.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubal_hartebeest>.
  19. Lovgren, Stefan. “China’s Rare River Dolphin Now Extinct, Experts Announc.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 14 Dec. 2006. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/12/061214-dolphin-extinct.html>.
  20. “Steller’s Sea Cow.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 4 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steller’s_sea_cow>.
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