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Top 10 Extinct Animals

Macro shot of some fossil AmmoniteFossil Series:

Are you looking for the Top Top 10 Extinct Animals?

If you are like us, you find this list tragic, but awareness is essential in conserving the rare animal species left on this planet. Therefore, we look deeper at these animals, their stories, and how to prevent the past from repeating itself. We tackle the issue of extinction and how it can be fended off; if you want to learn more about the species that need our help, check out our dedicated article on the top 10 endangered animals.

It has been calculated that between 0.01 and 0.1% of all species will become extinct yearly. Based on this estimation, between 200 and 2,000 extinctions occur every year.

Zurich Insurance group

Every day, up to 150 species may go extinct. This means as many as 10 percent of species a decade. Scientists have recently estimated that there are approximately 8.7 million species on Earth. They believe that 1-2 million of those species are animals.

scientists at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity

Are you intrigued? Read further or jump to the headline of your interest.

Key Points

SpeciesExtinction StatusHabitat / LocationMain Causes of Extinction
Splendid Poison FrogExtinct (2020)Western PanamaDeforestation, habitat degradation
Bramble Cay MelomysExtinct (2019)Bramble Cay, Great Barrier Reef, AustraliaHuman-driven climate change
Baiji DolphinEstimated ExtinctFreshwater rivers of ChinaFishing nets with hooks, habitat degradation
Pinta Giant TortoiseEstimated ExtinctGalápagos Islands, EcuadorReduced habitat, environmental changes
Western Black RhinoExtinct (2011)Sub-Saharan AfricaPoaching for horns
Alaotra Grebe BirdExtinct (2010)Lake Alaotra, MadagascarPoaching, predatory fish
Spix’s MacawExtinct in WildBrazilHabitat loss, illegal trade
Moorean Tree SnailFunctionally ExtinctFrench PolynesiaHabitat loss, invasive species
Pyrenean IbexExtinct (2000/2009)Pyrenees MountainsPoaching, disease, competition, habitat loss
Asiatic CheetahFunctionally ExtinctIranHabitat loss, hunting, reduced prey

Main Causes of Extinction

  • Habitat Loss
  • Introduced Species
  • Pollution
  • Population Growth
  • Overconsumption

Conservation Organizations

#1 Splendid Poison frog (2020)

10 Animals that have recently gone extinct follow frog

The splendid poison frog, also known as the poison-arrow frog, was a poison dart frog species unique to the western tip of Panama.

The primary factors contributing to the decline of the splendid poison frog were deforestation and habitat degradation. These threats were exacerbated by human actions, including logging, the expansion of urban and suburban areas, and the construction and use of rail lines. Regrettably, these activities collectively played a significant role in driving this remarkable frog species to extinction.

#2 Bramble Cay melomys (2019)

10 Animals that have recently gone extinct follow shrew

The Bramble Cay melomys, also known as the Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rat, is a recently extinct rodent species. It was native to Bramble Cay, an isolated coral cay situated at the northernmost point of Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef.

Scientists have concluded that human-induced climate change played a pivotal role in the extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys. The species’ habitat, Bramble Cay, encompassing a mere 10 acres, was situated at an elevation of less than 10 feet above sea level. This vulnerability to rising sea levels ultimately led to their tragic demise.

#3 Baiji Dolphin (2020)

The baiji, potentially an extinct freshwater dolphin species, holds the tragic distinction of possibly being the first dolphin species driven to extinction by human influence.

Its name, “Baiji,” translates to ‘white fin’ in Chinese, reflecting its distinctive physical characteristic.

The primary culprit behind the decline of the baiji is believed to be the use of fishing nets equipped with hooks that inadvertently trap and drown these dolphins as bycatch. Additional factors, such as habitat degradation, may have also played a role in their decline.

#4 Pinta Giant Tortoise ( 2012)

10 Animals that have recently gone extinct follow tortoise


The Pinta Island tortoise, also called the Pinta giant tortoise or Abingdon Island tortoise, is a Galápagos tortoise species native to Ecuador’s Pinta Island. It was widely believed to be extinct, notably with the passing of Lonesome George in 2012. However, recent discoveries have brought a glimmer of hope, as scientists have identified 31 tortoises on Isabella Island in the Galapagos Island chain. These tortoises are believed to have partial lineage from the Pinta Island tortoise but are considered functionally extinct in their natural habitat.

#5 Western Black Rhino (2011)

10 Animals that have recently gone extinct follow rhino

The western black rhinoceros or West African black rhinoceros is an extinct subspecies of the black rhinoceros. It was declared extinct by the IUCN in 2011. 

But the western black rhino and northern white rhinos have recently become extinct in the wild. The only two remaining northern white rhino are kept under 24-hour guard in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

The main reason the West African black rhino is extinct is because of poachers or illegal hunters. Poachers killed them solely for their horns, for use in Chinese medicine, and as decoration in the Middle East.
Discover a more in-depth understanding by reading our dedicated article, where we unveil the rhino horn crisis.

#6 Alaotra grebe Bird ( Extinct 2010)

10 Animals that have recently gone extinct follow bird

The Alaotra grebe, also known as Delacour’s little or rusty grebe, is an extinct grebe endemic to Lake Alaotra and its surrounding lakes in Madagascar.

The last known sighting of the bird was in 1985 and experts have now confirmed its demise, killed off by a combination of poaching and predatory fish.

#7 Spix’s Macaw ( Functionally extinct 2000)

10 Animals that have recently gone extinct follow macaw

One of the 10 Animals that have recently gone extinct: Spix’s macaw, also known as the little blue macaw, is a macaw native to Brazil.

The Spix’s macaw is one of the rarest birds in the world: it is estimated that there are only 177 captive individuals worldwide.

The species was declared extinct in the wild in 2000.

#8 Moorean viviparous tree snail ( Functionally extinct)

10 Animals that have recently gone extinct follow snail

The Partula mooreana, commonly known as the Moorean viviparous tree snail, belonged to a species of air-breathing tropical land snails, specifically a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk within the Partulidae family.

Native exclusively to French Polynesia, this species sadly met extinction in its natural habitat.

#9 Pyrenean ibex ( 2000/2009)

The Pyrenean ibex, also known as the Pyrenean wild goat or bucardo in Spain, was a mountain goat species that stood out for its larger size and impressive horns compared to its surviving relatives, C. p. hispanica and C. p. victoriae.

Although the precise cause of the Pyrenean ibex’s extinction remains uncertain, scientists have put forth several contributing factors to its decline. These factors include poaching, the impact of diseases, and the species’ inability to effectively compete with other domestic and wild ungulates for food and habitat resources.

#10 Asiatic Cheetah (1948)

Asiatic cheetah. (2023, August 18). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiatic_cheetah

The Asiatic cheetah is a Critically Endangered cheetah subspecies surviving today only in Iran.

It once occurred from the Arabian Peninsula and the Near East to Caspian regions. Less than 50 remain in the wild, therefore functionally extinct.

Reasons for the extinction of species

Bonobos

The extinction of a species is the result of a sustained level of threat across the entire distribution of a species, over a prolonged period.

Contributing factors towards extinction:

The main drivers behind species declines, endangerment, and extinction can be attributed to certain factors. These include land development, overexploitation, species translocations and introductions, and pollution. These human-induced factors lead to both ecological and genetic effects that increase the risk of extinction.

In a nutshell, the five primary causes of extinction can be distilled into:

  1. Habitat loss
  2. Introduction of non-native species
  3. Pollution
  4. Population growth
  5. Overconsumption

Conservation

giant panda endangered asian animal

WWF: Endangered Species Conservation

Our mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

Save Animals Facing Extinction

Save Animals Facing Extinction seeks to drive change at all levels of government that will protect Earth’s most precious wildlife. 

Endangered Species International

Committed to saving endangered species and remaining rainforests.

Activism

10 animals that have recently gone extinct dinosaur

How to combat the pace of extinction of species: These are a few simple ways to help

  1. Educate your family about endangered species in your area.
  2. Recycle and buy sustainable products.
  3. Reduce your water consumption.
  4. Reduce your footprint.
  5. Do not buy plastic products.
  6. Pressure your civil servants.
  7. Volunteer your time to protect the wildlife in your area.

Summary of Top 10 Extinct Animals

It is a sad reality that human activity directly affects the extinction rates of species around the globe at a rapid pace. Acknowledging environmental wrongdoings and moving forward in collective sustainability is essential.

This will ensure a delay in the extinction of species.

For more blogs featuring extraordinary wildlife, look at the top 10 cutest animals and the most endangered animals or 10 Biggest Animals In The World.

Thank you for reading Top 10 Extinct Animals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the meaning of “extinct species”?

An extinct species is a type of organism that no longer exists anywhere on Earth. This can happen due to various reasons, such as environmental changes, natural disasters, competition with other species, or human activities.

What is the biggest extinct species?

The largest known extinct species is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus sudirostris). It’s also the largest animal to have ever existed on Earth.

Who killed the last dodo bird?

The exact individual responsible for killing the last dodo bird is not known. However, the dodo bird went extinct in the late 17th century, and it was primarily due to a combination of habitat loss, introduction of invasive species by humans, and hunting.

What is the strongest extinct animal?

Determining the “strongest” extinct animal can be challenging due to the variety of ways strength can be measured. However, the Megalodon, an extinct species of giant shark, is often considered one of the most powerful predators in Earth’s history due to its immense size and predatory adaptations.

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