Discover the World's Recently Extinct and Rediscovered Plants and Animals!

Explore this website to learn more about the world's many recently extinct and rediscovered plants, animals, fungi etc.

This website attempts to help document and tell the stories of the world's many recently lost and rediscovered creatures. To capture as many of the last rays of the dying light of species as they fade away as possible. To echo the sorrow felt and expressed by the lingering ghosts of species we have sent into oblivion. As they wander, swim, fly, grow, and otherwise move, now silently and invisibly, through their former habitats.

To shine a torch on a global problem of planetary proportions. Outer space may hold many biological treasures that we will never glimpse, but species on this planet are out of space and out of time. Life will exist on Earth as long as it itself exists, but that does not mean that the enivitable eventual loss of all biodiversity in a temporally distant supernova renders premature extinction any less anachronistic.

And to emphasise the role that conservation, both in situ and ex situ, can play in saving those creatures on the edge. Such as by highlighting successful programs implemented to rewild species such as the Californian Condor, Przewalski's horse and Père David's deer. But most importantly trying to downplay cloning and the potential for "de-extinction" that it brings. Talk of technological advancements that will more than likely end in complacency rather than real results. After all in many cases we possess no viable genetic material from lost populations. Most extinctions have gone unnoticed.

 

A Huge Loss

It is hard to fathom the proportion of megafauna that we have lost over the last hundred thousand years. From a six-metre long goanna in outback Australia, to gorilla-sized lemurs in Madagascar, giant birds from Australia, New Zealand and Madagascar, elephants from Mediterranean islands, river dolphins from China, giant elk and woolly rhinos from Eurasia, several species of lions (none from Africa), a second species of koala, another giant panda, a giant flightless pigeon (the dodo), primitive crocodilians from Pacific islands, giant terrestrial horned turtles, the American cheetah, deer of all kinds. The list goes on and on. And on.

Even more devastating is the loss of Pacific birds, 

 

 

Most Recent Global Extinctions

The following list is guaranteed to be inaccurate. There are undoubtedly many species omitted, and others survived longer than is widely recognised. Nevertheless such an incomplete picture is better than none at all. The list is arbitrarily limited to extinctions that are believed to have taken place since 1 January 2000.

 

Scientific name Name/Type Geographical range Last record Source
         
         
         
         
Alcelaphus buselaphus tora Hartebeest Nubia and W Ethiopia 2010 Gippoliti et al. 2018
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

 

References:

Gippoliti, Spartaco, Cotterill, Fenton P. D., Zinner, Dietmar and Groves, Colin P. (2018). Impacts of taxonomic inertia for the conservation of African ungulate diversity: an overview. Biological Reviews 93(1): 115-130.