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9 Animals That Have Gone Extinct During Your Lifetime

9 Animals Extinct During Your Lifetime
Background image: By Collectie Wereldmuseum (v/h Tropenmuseum), part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Over the past 50 years, several species have tragically gone extinct, reflecting broader trends in biodiversity loss due to human activities such as habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change. In this list we will go through 9 animals that have gone extinct during your lifetime (if you are over 50 years that is).

Let’s get into it.

1. Baiji River Dolphin

Chinese River Dolphin (Baiji)
By Roland Seitre, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Baiji River Dolphin, also known as the Yangtze River Dolphin, was declared functionally extinct in 2006. This freshwater dolphin was native to China’s Yangtze River and succumbed to industrial pollution, overfishing, and loss of habitat.

2. Western Black Rhinoceros

Black rhino
Black rhino Credit: Yathin S Krishnappa – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Once widespread across the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa, the Western Black Rhinoceros was declared extinct in 2011. Intensive poaching, driven by the demand for rhino horn, led to its tragic demise.

3. Pyrenean Ibex

Pyrenean ibex
By Roger Culos – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Extinct since 2000, the Pyrenean Ibex was a subspecies of the Spanish Ibex native to the Pyrenees. Despite efforts to revive the species through cloning, habitat destruction, and hunting had already sealed its fate.

4. Golden Toad

Golden Toad
By Charles H. Smithvergrößert von Aglarech – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Domain,

Last seen in 1989, the Golden Toad was native to the high-altitude cloud forests of Costa Rica. Its extinction is attributed to climate change, habitat loss, and a deadly fungal infection that has impacted amphibian populations worldwide.

5. Javan Tiger

Javan Tiger
By Collectie Wereldmuseum (v/h Tropenmuseum), part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0, Negative. Although not as important as in India, for many Europeans the hunt in the Dutch East Indies was a part of live in the tropics. For some it was pastime (the ‘sunday-hunter’), others made their job of it. On the European agriculture ventures staff, lifestock, and the crops had to be protected agains different wild species. The Indonesian Archipel was home of three tiger subspecies until 1950: the Bali tiger, te Javan tiger, and the Sumatran tiger. Around 1950, the Bali tiger had become extinct, while the Javan tiger was hunted so heavy that it had become fairly rare and now also became extinct. There are only some hundred individuals remaining of the Sumatran tiger. (P. Boomgaard, 2001) Tiger shot in May 1941. Malingping. Bantam. A group of men and children poses with a recent killed tiger in Malingping in Banten, West-Java

The Javan Tiger, native to the Indonesian island of Java, was declared extinct in the 1980s. Habitat destruction and hunting were the primary causes of its extinction, as Java’s forests were cleared for agricultural development.

6. Ivory-billed Woodpecker

ivory-billed woodpecker
By James St. John –, CC BY 2.0,

This large woodpecker, last definitively seen in 1944, was declared extinct due to habitat destruction and hunting.

7. Bachman’s Warbler

By Louis Agassiz Fuertes –, Public Domain,

A small bird that was last officially documented in the 1960s, it suffered from habitat loss in its breeding and wintering grounds.

8. San Marcos Gambusia

By Clinton & Charles Robertson from RAF Lakenheath, UK & San Marcos, TX, USA & UK – Mosquito Fish (Gambusia affinis)Uploaded by Jacopo Werther, CC BY-SA 2.0,

A small freshwater fish from Texas, affected by pollution and habitat degradation, last seen in 1983.

9. Green Blossom (Pearly Mussel)

pearly mussle
By Eric Polk – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

A freshwater mussel originally found in Tennessee’s rivers, last seen in 1982, suffered from habitat destruction.

Call to Action

Cheetah Licking Sasan Amir's Hand.
Cheetah Licking Sasan Amir’s Hand. Image by Sasan Amir Photography via Facebook

The extinction of these 9 species during our lifetimes is a call to action for all of us. We must strengthen our conservation efforts and support policies that protect our planet’s biodiversity.

Every effort counts, from reducing habitat destruction to supporting wildlife conservation initiatives. Let’s commit to making changes that can help save the remaining endangered species and prevent further loss.

Vaquita (Phocoena sinus)

Alfokrads via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 4.0 –

This critically endangered marine mammal is native to the northern part of the Gulf of California. Less than ten are believed to remain. To help, support organizations working to remove illegal gillnets from their habitat and raise awareness about their plight.

Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)

Amur Leopard
Amur leopard. Image via Depositphotos

With fewer than 100 individuals left in the wild, primarily in the Russian Far East, the Amur Leopard is critically endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, and climate change. You can help by supporting wildlife conservation funds that focus on habitat preservation and anti-poaching efforts.

Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)

Sumatran Orangutan endangered animal
Sumatran Orangutan endangered animal. Image via Pexels

This species is critically endangered with fewer than 14,000 individuals due to deforestation and land conversion for palm oil plantations in Indonesia. Choosing products with sustainable palm oil can help reduce the demand that leads to their habitat loss.

Let us know what you thought about this list of the 9 Animals that went Extinct During Your Lifetime in the comments!

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