Top 10 AMAZING ANIMALS Most Recently EXTINCT
Despite conservation efforts across the globe, saving Mother Nature can sometimes be an uphill battle. The more we industrialized the world, the more damage we do to the natural world and the harder it gets to save certain species from mass extinction. Though not for a lack of effort on the part of preservationists, the animals contained in this Archive are ten of the most recent animals that have been declared as extinct.
Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog
While studying the chytrid fungus in Panama in 2005, researchers happened upon this unknown but rather large amphibian which was later named after conservationists and herpetologists George and Mary Rabb. In 2009, the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed it Critically Endangered after the last known female died and the two remaining males were sent to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. By February of 2012, one male was euthanized at Zoo Atlanta after his health started to decline. Four years and seven months later, the remaining frog, named Toughie, passed away. Shortly after, the species was noted as being completely extinct.
Bramble Cray Melomys
Once endemic to the Great Barrier Reef, the Bramble Cay melomys was wiped from existence sometime between 2009, when it was last observed, and 2016, when it was deemed extinct. Initially discovered in 1845 by Europeans, the tiny rodent, named after Bramble Cay island, experienced a 97% decrease in its habitat since 1998 as the high tide continues to overtake its ecosystem. Having been driven to extinction by rising sea levels, scientists are dubbing the rodent the first mammal to die off due to climate change and Global Warming.
A subspecies of the cougars once found in abundance across North America, the eastern cougar, or Puma concolor couguar, was officially deemed extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2015 after a four-year review. Prior to extinction, the eastern cougar earned the nickname “ghost cat” for their elusive nature and could grow up to 8 ft (2 m) long, from head to tail. The introduction of European immigrants in the 19th century and extensive deforestation have been attributed to the dwindled number of North American cougars and it’s believed that the loss of the cougar has led to an influx of white-tailed deer.
Formosan Clouded Leopard
Despite being placed on the extinction list in 2013, things may be looking up for Neofelis nebulosi brachyura of Taiwan. A year after being declared extinct, however, officials believe that conditions have improved tremendously in Taiwan, so much so that over 3,281 square mi (8,500 square km) could sustain a population of up to 600 leopards. Of course, where does one find members of an extinct species to repopulate with? According to Po-Jen Chiang of the Institute of Wildlife Conservation in Taiwan, it’s possible that clouded leopards from mainland Asia may actually be genetically identical to the Formosan, sparking hope for the island’s ecology.
Japanese River Otter
Once an adorable critter found within Japan’s river system, specifically near the city of Susaki where it was first observed in 1979, the Japanese river otter was declared extinct in 2012. After a 30-year gap since the last sighting of the 3-ft- (1 m) long mammal, the Ministry of the Environment pulled the plug on any hope of finding the subspecies of European and Eurasian otters. At one time, the Japanese river otter numbered in the millions, but pollution, overdevelopment, and traders chipped away at the population over the years. Despite being extinct, the otter is the official animal symbol of Japan’s Ehime Prefecture.
West African Black Rhino
Following the extinction of the west African black rhino requires a road map. Read some sources and you’ll find that this species of rhino was extinct in 2006. Another may claim they vanished closer to 2016. The reality, however, is that his African native rhino was officially confirmed and reported as extinct in 2011, though its prognosis was quite grim five years prior. According to the IUCN, the black rhino could have seen the same population growth as the southern white rhino, which saw an exponential increase from the late-19th century to today, had measures been taken for conservation.
Navassa Rhinoceros Iguana
Named after its homeland of Navassa Island in the West Indies, this rhinoceros iguana vanished in the mid-19th century, likely having been preyed upon until its extinction. In 2011, the Navassa native was officially recognized as extinct. Earning it the title of “rhinoceros,” the iguana sported a bony protrusion that resembled a horn. Prior to being declared extinct, several researchers debated the validity of the Navassa rhinoceros iguana as its own, full species, some claiming it was a subspecies of Cyclura cornuta. Ultimately, the reptile, which could grow up to 4.5 ft (1.3 m), remained under its own classification.
As early as 1994, the Alaotra Grebe went from being listed as a threatened species to critically endangered. With the last confirmed sighting having been almost 30 years ago, in 2010, it was deemed appropriate to elevate the status of this Madagascan bird to extinct. Named for its chief ecology around Lake Alaotra, Tachybaptus rufolavatus was known for its smaller wings and inability to travel long distances, making it difficult to relocate when its main food supply in the lake was diminished by invasive mammals and fish. Ultimately, with numbers dwindling already, fishermen had added monofilament nylon gill-nets over the lake, which are known for killing waterfowl.
For almost three decades, the Saudi gazelle was believed to be only extinct in the wild, meaning specimen were still safe and sound in captivity. Unfortunately, investigations into the allegedly captive Gazella saudiya proved to be fruitless and, with no such species found in privately owned collections, hope for the gazelle had diminished. Originally found in the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudi gazelle was first reported extinct in the wild in 1980 due to over-hunting but, by 2008, was downgraded to extinct.
Caribbean Monk Seal
After an extensive search for the elusive Caribbean monk seal, which hadn’t been seen since before being placed on the endangered species list in 1967, it became the first seal to be declared extinct due to human intervention. Prior to its extinction, the seal suffered years of being hunted and killed in a relationship that is said to have started in 1494. Allegedly, during his second voyage, Christopher Columbus anchored off the island of Alta Velo, where crewmembers killed a group of eight seals. Since then, the seal were butchered for oil to the point where, by 1850, the numbers were too few for commercial hunting.