Extinct in the Wild

Socorro DoveIn addition to extinct species, this website also records species, subspecies and varieties that are 'extinct in the wild' (EW) and 'possibly extinct in the wild' (PW). These animals and plants are now only found in captivity, cultivation or as naturalized population. Extinct in the wild species, subspecies and varieties no longer play a functional role in their ecosystems and are because of that in many respects extinct. Sadly, it can also not be assumed that most of these animals and plants will be restored in the wild, because successful re-introductions are rare. (Baillie et al. 2004)

Photo: A Socorro Dove (Zenaida graysoni) in Burgers Zoo, Arnhem, The Netherlands. Photographed by 'Magalhães' at 15 May 2007. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. A full resolution version van be found at Wikimedia Commons.

The number of EW species (animals and plants) at the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has increased from 50 in 2000, 60 in 2004 and to 65 in 2006, 2007 and 2008 (Baillie et al. 2004; Vié et al. 2009; IUCN 2010). The IUCN Red List of 2013 contained 61 species and 9 subspecies as extinct in the wild (IUCN 2013). It is easier to document the growth in the number of animals and plants extinct in the wild, because these are most of the times well monitored while keeping it alive in captivity or cultivation. However, proving that a species, subspecies or variety is extinct in the wild can be as hard as with globally extinct organisms, as it requires confirmation that the last wild individual has died. (Baillie et al. 2004)

What is happening with the species that currently are listed as 'extinct in the wild', and what has happened with those species that have disappeared form that list? Have they been reintroduced into the wild? Visit: Last stand in captivity or cultivation: successes and failures.

Do you know any species or subspecies that should be added to this list or that has been rediscovered or reintroduced? If so, please contact this website.

 

Mammals (Mammalia) Birds (Aves) Reptiles (Reptilia) Amphibians (Amphibia) Ray-finned Fish (Actinopterygii)
Crustaceans (Crustacea) Insects (Insecta) Molluscs (Mollusca) Plants (Plantae) Notes and References

 

 

Mammals (Mammalia)

The subjoined table shows the mammal species that recently became extinct in the wild. The Barbary Lion (Panthera leo leo) is often classified as 'Extinct in the Wild' as well. The current royal lions in Rabat Zoo have not only the right Barbary looks, but also, very importantly, the right pedigree supported by circumstantial evidence. Although it may not be very solid, the existence of such evidence clearly separates the royal lions from all the other big-maned lions whose pedigrees are untraceable. (Yamaguchi and Haddane, 2002) However, the genetic distinctiveness of the historical Barbary lion has not yet been fully established and the question over whether the famous Royal Lions from Morocco and their descendents are true Barbary lions remains unanswered (Dubach et al. 2005; Yamaguchi 2005; Barnett et al. 2006; Burger and Hemmer 2006; Antunes et al. 2008; Black et al. 2009). Therefore there is currently no conclusive evidence that true and pure Barbary Lions survive in captivity.

Species (3)
Scientific Name Common Name Last sighting TSEW Status IUCN Status
Camelus dromedarius Dromedary 3000 BCE? EW NE
Elaphurus davidianus Père David's Deer 1939 EW EW
Oryx dammah Sahara Oryx 1988 EW EW
Subspecies (3)
Scientific Name Common Name Last sighting TSEW Status IUCN Status
Ceratotherium simum cottoni Northern White Rhinoceros 2007 (2009?) PW CR
Lagorchestes hirsutus ssp. Tanami Rufous Hare-wallaby 1991 EW NE
Panthera tigris amoyensis South China Tiger 2002? PW CR

Birds (Aves)

The subjoined table shows the bird species that recently became extinct in the wild.

Species (4) / Subspecies (0)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Corvus hawaiiensis Hawaiian Crow EW EW
Gallirallus owstoni Guam Rail EW EW
Mitu mitu Alagoas Curassow EW EW
Zenaida graysoni Socorro Dove  EW EW

Reptiles (Reptilia)

The subjoined table shows the reptile species that recently became extinct in the wild. The Black Soft-shell Turtle (Aspideretes nigricans) is listed as extinct in the wild by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Asmat 2002). However, genetic evidence showed that this turtle occurs not only in the shrine pond near Chittagong (Vietnam), but also in the wild in the neighbouring Indian state of Assam (Praschag et al. 2007). Also the Pinzón Island Tortoise or Duncan Island Tortoise (Chelonoidis duncanensis or Chelonoidis ephippium) is listed as extinct in the wild by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group 1996), but this species still survives in the wild. The IUCN Red List still lists the Pinta Island Tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdoni) as extinct in the wild. Sadly enough, the last known Pinta Island Tortoise, named Lonesome George, died in captivity on 24 June 2012.

Species (1) / Subspecies (0)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Rafetus swinhoei Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle EW CR

Amphibians (Amphibia)

The subjoined table shows the amphibian species that recently became extinct in the wild. The Wyoming Toad (Anaxyrus baxteri) is listed as 'extinct in the wild' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Version 2011.1), but there is no evidence that it was ever completely gone in the wild. This species was thought to be extinct in the wild in the mid-1980s, but was found again at Mortenson Lake (Wyoming, U.S.A.) in 1987. Authorities believe that it probably would be extirpated without recent annual releases of captive-reared toadlets, but one wild population has persisted without further supplementation since at least 2003. Several other reintroduced populations have not demonstrated persistence yet. (Geoffrey Hammerson 2004; Zippel 2010)

Species (4) / Subspecies (0)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Atelopus zeteki Panamanian Golden Frog EW CR
Craugastor punctariolus Bob's Robber Frog EW EN
Hemiphractus sp. Casque-headed Frog EW NE
Nectophrynoides asperginis Kihansi Spray Toad EW EW

Ray-finned Fish (Actinopterygii)

The subjoined table shows the fish species that recently became extinct in the wild. The Yarkon Bleak (Acanthobrama telavivensis) and the Butterfly Splitfin (Ameca splendens) are listed as extinct in the wild by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, during 2006-2007 approximately 9,000 laboratory-born Yarkon Bleak fish were returned to nature. In surveys carried out in 2007-2009, thousands of juveniles were found at most sites. The "Extinct in the Wild" Yarqon Bleak has been successfully reintroduced to nature (Goren 2010). The Butterfly Splitfin has been declared extinct in the wild since 1996 (Contreras-Balderas & Almada-Villela 1996, IUCN 2010), but in 1997 a population was rediscovered living in springs at a water park (El Rincon) near the town of Ameca (Kelley et al. 2006). Also the Red-tailed Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor) was thought to be extinct in the wild until recent information confirmed that the species is still extant, but very localised, in the Chao Phraya, Thailand (Vidthayanon 2011)

Species (11) / Subspecies (0)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Amphilophus lyonsi Unknown (Cichlid) EW NE
Cyprinodon alvarezi Potosi Pupfish EW EW
Cyprinodon longidorsalis La Palma Pupfish EW EW
Cyprinodon veronicae Charco Palma Pupfish EW CR
Haplochromis ishmaeli Unknown (Cichlid) EW CR
Haplochromis perrieri Unknown (Cichlid) EW CR
Megupsilon aporus Catarina Pupfish EW EW
Skiffia francesae Tiro EW EW
Stenodus leucichthys Beloribitsa EW EW
Xiphophorus couchianus Monterrey Platyfish EW CR
Yssichromis "argens" Unknown (Cichlid) EW EW

Crustaceans (Crustacea)

The subjoined table shows the crustacean species that recently became extinct in the wild.

Species (1) / Subspecies (0)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Thermosphaeroma thermophilum Socorro Isopod  EW EW

Insects (Insecta)

The subjoined table shows the insect species that recently became extinct in the wild. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Version 2010.4) lists the Oahu Deceptor Bush Cricket (Leptogryllus deceptor) as 'extinct in the wild' (Orthopteroid Specialist Group 1996). However, this seems to be an error (Zippel 2010). The Sixth Extinction and others aren't able to find any captive population of this species and therefore it has been moved to the list of possibly extinct species.

Species (0) / Subspecies (0)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
- - - -

Molluscs (Mollusca)

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (version 2011.1) lists the freshwater snail Aylacostoma chloroticum as extinct in the wild, thought to have disappeared from the wild after the construction of the Yacyreta Hydroelectric power plant in the Pananá River. However, Aylacostoma chloroticum persists in two relictual populations at the upstream section of the reservoir (Ostrowski de Núñez & Quintana 2008). The subjoined table shows the mollusc species and subspecies that recently became extinct in the wild.

Species (13)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Aylacostoma guaraniticum Unknown (gastropod from Argentina & Paraguay) EW EW
Aylacostoma stigmaticum Unknown (gastropod from Argentina & Paraguay) EW EW
Partula dentifera Unknown (terrestrial snail from French Polynesia) EW EW
Partula faba Unknown (terrestrial snail from French Polynesia) EW EW
Partula hebe Unknown (terrestrial snail from French Polynesia) EW EW
Partula mirabilis Moorean Viviparous Tree Snail EW EW
Partula mooreana Moorean Viviparous Tree Snail EW EW
Partula nodosa   Tahiti Tree Snail EW EW
Partula rosea Huahine Tree Snail EW EW
Partula suturalis 1 Sutural Partula EW EW
Partula tohiveana Moorean Viviparous Tree Snail EW EW
Partula tristis Unknown (terrestrial snail from French Polynesia) EW EW
Partula varia Unknown (terrestrial snail from French Polynesia) EW EW
Subspecies (2)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Partula taeniata nucleola Unknown (terrestrial snail from French Polynesia) EW EW
Partula taeniata simulans Unknown (terrestrial snail from French Polynesia) EW EW

Plants (Plantae)

The subjoined table shows the plant species and subspecies that recently became extinct in the wild. The Punaluu Cyanea (Cyanea truncata) was listed here as extinct in the wild, however in February 2004 a new wild population was found on state and private land in a gulch in Kahana Valley, which adjoins Makaua Gulch. This population consisted of three plants, only two of which were mature. As of February 2006, all three plants were still alive, and the largest, most vigorous individual has been observed to flower and fruit year-round. (USFWS 2007)

Species (30) / Subspecies (0)
Scientific Name Common Name TSEW Status IUCN Status
Betula szaferi Unknown
EW
Bromus bromoideus Ardennes Brome EW EW
Bromus interruptus Interrupted Brome EW EW
Clermontia peleana 2 Pele Clermontia
EW
Commidendrum rotundifolium Bastard Gumwood
EW
Corypha taliera Unknown
EW
Cryosophila williamsii Lago Yojoa Palm
EW
Cyanea pinnatifida Sharktail Cyanea
EW
Cyanea superba 3 Superb Cyanea
EW
Cyrtandra waiolani Fuzzyflower Cyrtandra
EW
Encephalartos brevifoliolatus Unknown
EW
Encephalartos nubimontanus Unknown
EW
Encephalartos relictus Relictual Cycad
EW
Encephalartos woodii Wood's Cycad
EW
Erythroxylum echinodendron Unknown
EW
Euphorbia mayurnathanii Unknown
EW
Firmiana major Unknown
EW
Franklinia alatamaha Franklin Tree
EW
Kokia cookei Cooke's Kokio
EW
Lysimachia minoricensis Menorca Loosestrife
EW
Mammillaria glochidiata Unknown
EW
Mammillaria guillauminiana Unknown
EW
Mangifera casturi Kalimantan Mango
EW
Mangifera rubropetala Unknown
EW
Nymphaea thermarum Unknown
EW
Rhododendron kanehirai Unknown
EW
Senecio leucopeplus Unknown
EW
Sophora toromiro Toromiro
EW
Terminalia acuminata Unknown
EW
Trochetiopsis erythroxylon St. Helena Redwood
EW

 

Notes

  1. The partulid species Partula suturalis has one extinct subspecies (Partula suturalis suturalis), and two subspecies (Partula suturalis strigosa and Partula suturalis vexillum) that are extinct in the wild. Therefore, this page only lists the whole species as extinct in the wild and not the surviving subspecies separately.
  2. The Pele Clermontia (Clermontia peleana), an endemic Hawaiian plant species, has one extinct subspecies (Clermontia peleana singuliflora), and one subspecies (Clermontia peleana peleana) that is extinct in the wild. Therefore, this page only lists the whole species as extinct in the wild and not the two surviving subspecies separately.
  3. The Superb Cyanea (Cyanea superba), an endemic Hawaiian plant species, has one extinct subspecies (Cyanea superba regina), and one subspecies (Cyanea superba superba) that is extinct in the wild. Therefore, this page only lists the whole species as extinct in the wild and not the surviving subspecies separately.

 

The Sixth Extinction Database (TSED)

The Sixth Extinction has created a database (TSED 1.0) with currently all known recent mammal extinctions, possible extinctions, extinctions in the wild, rediscoveries, and more. Later versions of this database will include extinctions from all animal and plant groups. The database is free to download in Excel and OpenDocument formats.

ExcelExcelOpen Document

 

References

Asmat, G.S.M 2002. Nilssonia nigricans. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 14 May 2011.

Baillie, J.E.M., Hilton-Taylor, C. and Stuart, S.N. (eds) (2004). 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. A Global Species Assessment. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. [Available via http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/html/Red%20List%202004/completed/cover.html].

Contreras-Balderas, S. & Almada-Villela, P. (1996). Ameca splendens. In: IUCN (2010). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 14 May 2011.

Geoffrey Hammerson (2004). Anaxyrus baxteri. In: IUCN (2011). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 August 2011.

Goren, M. (2010). Re-introduction of the "Extinct in the Wild" Yarqon bleak, Israel. In: Soorae, P. S. (ed.) (2010) GLOBAL RE-INTRODUCTION PERSPECTIVES: Additional case-studies from around the globe. IUCN/ SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, Abu Dhabi, UAE, xii + 352 pp.

IUCN (2010). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 13 November 2010.

IUCN (2011). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 12 August 2011.

IUCN (2012). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 May 2013.

IUCN (2013). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 July 2013.

Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G., Márquez, C., Snell, H. L. (2011). CDF CheckIUCN (2013). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 July 2013.list of Galapagos Reptiles - FCD Lista de especies de Reptiles de Galápagos. In: Bungartz, F., Herrera, H., Jaramillo, P., Tirado, N., Jímenez-Uzcategui, G., Ruiz, D., Guézou, A. & Ziemmeck, F. (eds.). Charles Darwin Foundation Galapagos Species Checklist - Lista de Especies de Galápagos de la Fundación Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin Foundation / Fundación Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos: http://www.darwinfoundation.org/datazone/checklists/vertebrates/reptilia/. Last updated 07 Jul 2011.

Kelley, J.L.; Magurran, A.E. & Macías García, C. (2006): Captive breeding promotes aggression in an endangered Mexican fish. Biological Conservation 133(2): 169–177. (Available online: http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/group/AnimPersInst/Animal%20Personality%20PDFs/K/Kelley%20et%20al%202006.pdf)

Orthopteroid Specialist Group (1996). Leptogryllus deceptor. In: IUCN (2010). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 December 2010.

Ostrowski de Núñez, M., Quintana, M.G. (2008). The life cycle of Stephanoprora aylacostoma n.sp. (Digenea: Semiautomatische), parasite of the threatened snail Aylacostoma chloroticum (Prosobranchia, Thiaridae), in Argentina. Parasitol Res, Volume 102, Number 4, 647-655, DOI: 10.1007/s00436-007-0806-2.

Poulakakis, N., Glaberman, S., Russello, M., Beheregaray, L., Ciofi, C., Powell, J., Caccone, A.. (2008). Historical DNA analysis reveals living descendants of an extinct species of Galapagos tortoise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105:15464-15469.

Praschag, P.; Hundsdörfer, A.K.; Reza, A.H.M.A. & Fritz, U. (2007): Genetic evidence for wild-living Aspideretes nigricans and a molecular phylogeny of South Asian softshell turtles (Reptilia: Trionychidae: Aspideretes, Nilssonia). Zool. Scripta 36(4): 301–310. Available online: http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/wp-content/uploads/file/Articles/Praschag_etal_2007a.pdf.

Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (1996). Chelonoidis nigra ssp. duncanensis. In: IUCN (2010). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 14 May 2011.

Vié, J.-C., Hilton-Taylor, C. and Stuart, S.N. (eds.) (2009). Wildlife in a Changing World – An Analysis of the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 180 pp.

Vidthayanon, C. (2011). Epalzeorhynchos bicolor. In: IUCN (2011). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 12 August 2011.

Zippel, K.C. (2010). (Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), Amphibian Program Officer), Personal communication, October 2010. This web page is based on an unpublished excel-document (Last Stand in Captivity: A preliminary analysis of all species that were ever "extinct in the wild") prepared by K.C. Zippel for IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.

 

Citation: Maas, P.H.J. (2013). Extinct in the Wild. In: TSEW (). The Sixth Extinction Website. <http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct>. Downloaded on .
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Updated: 27 July 2013

 

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