Baiji
The possibly extinct Baiji or Yangtze River Dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer). Photo courtesy by Baiji.org Foundation, Steven Leatherwood. All rights reserved.

Extinctions have occurred in all animal and plant groups, but some are more studied than others. Some species, subspecies and varieties are not seen for many years. Proving extinction beyond reasonable doubt is often very difficult. The number of recent extinctions documented by the Extinct (EX) and Extinct in the Wild (EW) categories on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is likely to be a significant underestimate. The tags ‘Possibly Extinct’ and ‘Possibly Extinct in the Wild’ have therefore been developed by the IUCN Red List to identify Critically Endangered species that are likely to already be extinct (or extinct in the wild), but for which confirmation is required. They should not be listed as Extinct until local or unconfirmed reports have been discounted, and adequate surveys have failed to find any individuals.

This page identifies those species and subspecies that are likely to be extinct, but for which there is a small chance that they may still be extant. Surveys to discover whether these species and subspecies still exists should be carried out urgently, followed by appropriate conservation action if needed. The Sixth Extinction Website classifies these missing animals and plants as Possibly Extinct (PE).

NOTE: The lists with possibly extinct species and subspecies presented here are incomplete and will regularly be updated with new entries. Do you know a species or subspecies that should be included or has been rediscovered? Please contact us if you have more information.

Possibly Extinct Mammals

Mammal species (45)
Scientific Name Common Name Last sighting / EED 1 TSEW status IUCN status
Abditomys latidens Luzon Broad-toothed Rat 1972 PE DD
Bos sauveli Kouprey 1982 PE CR (PE)
Calcochloris tytonis Somali Golden Mole 1964 PE DD
Chrysochloris visagiei Visagie’s Golden Mole 1949 PE DD
Crateromys paulus Small Ilin Cloud Rat 1953 PE DD
Crocidura trichura Christmas Island Shrew 1985 (1998?) PE CR (PE)
Cryptochloris wintoni De Winton’s Golden Mole 1907 PE CR (PE)
Dendrolagus mayri Wondiwoi Tree-kangaroo 1928 PE CR (PE)
Dendromus kahuziensis Mount Kahuzi Climbing Mouse 1967 PE CR
Dendromus vernayi Vernay’s Climbing Mouse 1937 PE DD
Diplomesodon sonnerati Sonnerat’s Shrew 1786-1813 PE NE
Dipodomys gravipes San Quintin Kangaroo Rat 1986 PE CR (PE)
Genetta poensis King Genet 1946 PE DD
Grammomys gigas Giant Thicket Rat 1910 PE EN
Hybomys basilii Father Basilio’s Striped Mouse 1962 PE EN
Kerivoula oreias Singapore Whiskered Bat 1840? PE DD
Leimacomys buettneri Groove-toothed Forest Mouse 1890 PE DD
Lipotes vexillifer Yangtze River Dolphin Before 2006 (2007?) PE CR (PE)
Melanomys zunigae Zuniga’s Dark Rice Rat 1942 PE CR (PE)
Mesocapromys nanus Dwarf Hutia 1937 PE CR (PE)
Mesocapromys sanfelipensis Little Earth Hutia 1978 PE CR (PE)
Monodelphis unistriata One-striped Short-tailed Opossum 1899 PE CR (PE)
Murina tenebrosa Tsushima Tube-nosed Bat 1962 PE CR (PE)
Mylomys rex Ethiopian Mylomys 1905 PE DD
Mystacina robusta New Zealand Greater Short-tailed Bat 1967 PE CR
Nilopegamys plumbeus Ethiopian Amphibious Rat 1928 PE CR (PE)
Nyctophilus howensis Lord Howe Long-Eared Bat 1887 PE CR (PE)
Peromyscus mekisturus Puebla Deer Mouse 1948 PE CR (PE)
Phalanger matanim Telefomin Cuscus 1997 (1998?) PE CR (PE)
Piliocolobus waldronae Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus 1978 PE CR
Pipistrellus sturdeei Sturdee’s Pipistrelle Before 1915 PE DD
Pteralopex pulchra Montane Monkey-faced Bat 1990 PE CR (PE)
Pteropus aruensis Aru Flying Fox 1800s (1867?) PE CR (PE)
Rattus adustus Burnished Enggano Rat 1920s PE DD
Rattus enganus Enggano Island Rat 1904 PE DD
Rattus koopmani Koopman’s Peleng Island Rat 1938 PE DD
Rattus pelurus Peleng Rat 1938 PE DD
Rattus salocco Southeastern Xanthurus Rat 1932 PE DD
Rhinolophus mitratus Mitred Horseshoe Bat 1844 PE DD
Scotophilus borbonicus Lesser Yellow Bat 1868 PE DD
Solomys salamonis Florida Naked-tailed Rat 1881 PE DD
Uromys emmae Emma’s Giant Rat 1944-1945 PE CR (PE)
Uromys imperator Emperor Rat 1960s PE CR
Uromys porculus Guadalcanal Rat 1887 PE CR
Viverra civettina Malabar Civet 1990 PE CR
Mammal subspecies (18)
Scientific Name Common Name Last sighting / EED 1 TSEW status IUCN status
Alcelaphus buselaphus tora Tora Hartebeest 2010 PE CR
Blarina carolinensis shermani Sherman’s Short-tailed Shrew 1954 PE NE
Cercopithecus mitis mitis Pluto Monkey Before 1997 PE DD
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis lasiotis Northern Sumatran Rhinoceros 1999 PE NE
Dipodomys heermanni berkeleyensis Berkeley’s Kangaroo Rat 1940 PE NE
Dipodomys heermanni morroensis Morro Bay Kangaroo Rat 1991 PE NE
Dipodomys microps alfredi Gunnison Island Kangaroo Rat 1937? PE NE
Dipodomys nitratoides exilis Fresno Kangaroo Rat 1992 PE NE
Equus africanus africanus Nubian Wild Ass 1970s PE NE
Hylobates lar yunnanensis Yunnan Lar Gibbon 1992 PE DD
Leopardus wiedii cooperi Texas Margay 1852 PE NE
Microtus californicus aequivocatus California Vole (subspecies) 1953 PE NE
Microtus californicus grinnelli Grinnell’s California Vole 1996 PE NE
Mysateles prehensilis meridionalis Isla de la Guarda Deer Mouse 1991 (1995?) PE NE
Ovis ammon jubata North Chinese Argali 1972 PE NE
Peromyscus guardia guardia Angel de la Guarda Deer Mouse 1997 (1995?) PE CR (PE)
Ratufa indica dealbata Dang’s Giant Squirrel 1940s PE NE
Thomomys mazama louiei Cathlamet Pocket Gopher 1956 (1970s?) PE NE

Possibly Extinct Birds

Bird species (52)
Scientific Name Common Name Last sighting / EED 1 TSEW status IUCN status
Acrocephalus longirostris Moorea Reed Warbler 1987 PE CR (PE)
Anodorhynchus glaucus Glaucous Macaw 1951 PE CR
Aplonis pelzelni Pohnpei Starling 2008 PE CR
Atlapetes blancae Antioquia Brush-finch 1971 PE CR
Campephilus imperialis Imperial Woodpecker 1956 PE CR (PE)
Caprimulgus centralasicus Vaurie’s Nightjar 1929 PE DD
Ceyx sangirensis Sangihe Dwarf Kingfisher 1997 PE CR
Charmosyna amabilis Red-throated Lorikeet 2001 PE CR
Charmosyna diadema New Caledonian Lorikeet 1976 PE CR
Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti Cryptic Treehunter 2007 PE CR (PE)
Claravis geoffroyi Purple-winged Ground-dove 2007 PE CR
Cyornis ruckii Rueck’s Blue-flycatcher 1918 PE CR
Discosura letitiae Coppery Thorntail Before 1852 PE DD
Eriocnemis godini Turquoise-throated Puffleg 1850 (1976?) PE CR (PE)
Eurostopodus exsul New Caledonian Nightjar 1939 PE NE
Gallicolumba menagei Sulu Bleeding-heart 1891 (1995?) PE CR
Gallirallus lafresnayanus New Caledonian Wood Rail 1890 (1984?) PE NE
Glaucidium mooreorum Pernambuco Pygmy-owl 2001 PE CR
Heliangelus zusii Bogotá Sunangel 1909 PE DD
Hemignathus affinis Maui Nukupuu 1995 PE CR (PE)
Hemignathus hanapepe Kauai Nukupuu 1995 PE NE
Hydrobates macrodactylus Guadelupe Petrel 1911 PE CR (PE)
Leucopeza semperi Semper’s Warbler 1961 PE CR
Loxops ochraceus Maui Akepa 1988 PE CR (PE)
Malacocincla perspicillata Black-browed Babbler 1843-1848 PE DD
Megalurulus grosvenori Bismarck Thicketbird 1958 PE VU
Melamprosops phaeosoma Poo-uli 2004 PE CR (PE)
Numenius borealis Eskimo Curlew 1963 (1981?) PE CR (PE)
Ophrysia superciliosa Himalayan Quail 1868 (1977?) PE CR
Otus siaoensis Siau Scops-owl 1866 PE CR
Oxypogon cyanolaemus Blue-bearded Helmetcrest 1946 PE CR
Pareudiastes pacificus Samoan Moorhen 1873 (2003?) PE CR
Paroreomyza maculata Oahu Alauahio 1985 PE CR (PE)
Philydor novaesi Alagoas Foliage-gleaner 2011 PE CR
Phyllastrephus leucolepis Liberian Greenbul 1984 PE DD
Pogoniulus makawai White-chested Tinkerbird 1964 PE DD
Pomarea mira Ua Pou Monarch 1922 PE CR (PE)
Pseudochelidon sirintarae White-eyed River Martin 1978 PE CR
Psittirostra psittacea Ou 1989 PE CR (PE)
Pterodroma caribbaea Jamaica Petrel 1879 (1936?) PE CR (PE)
Ptilinopus arcanus Negros Fruit-dove 1953 PE CR
Pyrrhura subandina Sinú Painted Parakeet 1949 PE CR (PE)
Rhodonessa caryophyllacea Pink-headed Duck 1949 PE CR
Setopagis maculosa Cayenne Nightjar 1917 (1982/1999?) PE NE
Siphonorhis americana Jamaican Pauraque 1860 PE CR (PE)
Sylvietta chapini Chapin’s Crombec 1942 PE CR
Tadorna cristata Crested Shelduck 1964 PE CR
Toxostoma guttatum Cozumel Thrasher 2007 PE CR
Turnix novaecaledoniae New Caledonia Buttonquail 1912 PE CR (PE)
Vanellus macropterus Javanese Lapwing 1940 (2002?) PE CR
Vermivora bachmanii Bachman’s Warbler 1988 PE CR (PE)
Zosterops albogularis White-chested White-eye 2000 PE CR
Bird subspecies (72)
Scientific Name Common Name Last sighting / EED 1 TSEW status IUCN status
Accipiter butleri butleri Car Nicobar Sparrowhawk 1901 (1977?) PE NE
Aerodramus spodiopygius ingens Southern Vanuatu White-rumped Swiftlet 1971 PE NE
Allenia fusca atlantica Barbados Scaly-breasted Thrasher 1994 PE NE
Alopecoenas erythropterus albicollis White-headed Polynesian Ground Dove 1950s PE NE
Alopecoenas jobiensis chalconotus Solomons White-bibbed Ground Dove 1930s (1940s?) PE NE
Amazilia cyanifrons alfaroana Alfaro’s Hummingbird 1895 PE NE
Apalis chariessa chariessa Northern White-winged Apalis 1961 PE NE
Ardeotis arabs lynesi Moroccan Bustard 1962 PE NE
Bostrychia olivacea rothschildi Principe Olive Ibis 1997 PE NE
Brachygalba lugubris phaeonota Klages’s Jacamar 1923 PE NE
Callaeas cinerea cinerea South Island Kokako 1967 PE NE
Calyptophilus frugivorus abbotti Gonâve Eastern Chat Tanager 1977 PE NE
Calyptophilus frugivorus frugivorus Samaná Eastern Chat Tanager 1982 PE NE
Campephilus principalis bairdii Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker 1987 PE NE
Campephilus principalis principalis Ivory-billed Woodpecker 1944 (2004?) PE NE
Capito hypoleucus carrikeri Botero White-mantled Barbet 1950s PE NE
Capito hypoleucus hypoleucus Northern White-mantled Barbet 1940s PE NE
Cinclosoma punctatum anachoreta Mount Lofty Spotted Quail-thrush 1984 PE NE
Coracina coerulescens altera Cebu Blackish Cuckoo-shrike 1906 (2000?) PE NE
Coracina coerulescens deschauenseei Marinduque Blackish Cuckoo-shrike 1971 PE NE
Coracina striata cebuensis Cebu Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike 1906 (2000?) PE NE
Corythornis madagascariensis dilutus Sakaraha Pygmy Kingfisher 1974 PE NE
Coturnicops noveboracensis goldmani Goldman’s Yellow Rail 1964 PE NE
Coua cristata maxima Greater Crested Coua 1950 PE NE
Cranioleuca pyrrhophia rufipennis Northern Stripe-crowned Spinetail 1950s PE NE
Crypturellus erythropus saltuarius Magdalena Tinamou 1990s (2008?) PE NE
Ducula carola nigrorum Negron Spotted Imperial Pigeon 1952-1991 PE NE
Eos histrio challengeri Challenger Red-and-blue Lory 1891 PE NE
Eos histrio histrio Sangihe Red-and-blue Lory 1990s PE NE
Eremomela turneri kalindei Western Turner’s Eremomela 1970s PE NE
Falco peregrinus furuitii Iwo Peregrine Falcon 1937 PE NE
Gallicolumba luzonica rubiventris Catanduanes Bleeding-heart 1971 PE NE
Geokichla camaronensis kibalensis Kibale Black-eared Thrush 1966 PE NE
Geothlypis rostrata rostrata New Providence Yellowthroat 1990s PE NE
Grallaria gigantea lehmanni Northern Giant Antpitta 1940s PE NE
Grallaria milleri gilesi Antioquia Brown-banded Antpitta 1878 PE NE
Hypothymis coelestis rabori Negros Celestial Monarch 1990s PE NE
Lathrotriccus euleri flaviventris Grenada Euler’s Flycatcher 1950s PE NE
Lewinia pectoralis exsul Flores Rail 1958-1959 PE NE
Loriculus philippensis chrysonotus Cebu Hanging Parrot 1943 (2004?) PE NE
Loriculus philippensis siquijorensis Siquijor Hanging Parrot 1908 PE NE
Megalurulus rufa cluniei Vanua Levu Long-legged Thicketbird 1974 PE NE
Megascops nudipes newtoni Virgin Islands Screech-Owl 1860 PE NE
Melanodryas cucullata melvillensis Tiwi Islands Hooded Robin 1992 PE NE
Micrathene whitneyi graysoni Socorro Elf Owl 1970 PE NE
Milvus milvus fasciicauda Cape Verde Kite 2000 PE NE
Myadestes elisabeth retrusus Isle of Pines Solitaire 1934 PE NE
Myadestes lanaiensis rutha Molokai Thrush 1980 PE NE
Neochmia ruficauda ruficauda Eastern Star Finch 1990s PE NE
Notiomystis cincta cincta North Island Stitchbird 1880s PE NE
Numida meleagris sabyi Moroccan Helmeted Guineafowl 1950s (1980s?) PE NE
Oriolus steerii assimilis Cebu Oriole 1906 PE NE
Penelopides panini ticaensis Ticao Tarictic Hornbill 1971 PE NE
Pheugopedius mystacalis macrurus Colombian Whiskered Wren Late 1900s PE NE
Phylloscopus canariensis exsul Lanzarote Chiffchaff 1986 PE NE
Pitta anerythera pallida Bougainville Black-faced Pitta 1938 PE NE
Polystictus pectoralis bogotensis Bogotá Bearded Tachuri 1950s PE NE
Pomarea mendozae mendozae Hive Oa Monarch 1975 PE NE
Rallus aquaticus hibernans Icelandic Water Rail 1965 PE NE
Rallus semiplumbeus peruvianus Peruvian Rail 1886 PE NE
Regulus calendula obscurus Guadalupe Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1990s PE NE
Sephanoides fernandensis leyboldi Alejandro Selkirk Island Firecrown 1908 PE NE
Spatula cyanoptera borreroi Borrero’s Cinnamon Teal 1950s PE NE
Tachycineta euchrysea euchrysea Jamaican Golden Swallow 1989 PE NE
Troglodytes aedon guadeloupensis Guadeloupe House Wren 1973 PE NE
Turdus olivater caucae Cauca Black-hooded Thrush 1980s PE NE
Turdus poliocephalus mareensis Maré Thrush 1939 PE NE
Turdus poliocephalus pritzbueri Lifou Thrush 1878-1939 PE NE
Turnix sylvatica suluensis Tawi-tawi Small Buttonquail 1950s PE NE
Upucerthia dumetaria peruana Peruvian Scale-throated Earthcreeper Before 2000 PE NE
Urosphena subulata advena Babar Stubtail 1950s PE NE
Zoothera heinei choiseuli Choiseul Russet-tailed Thrush 1904 PE NE

Possibly Extinct Reptiles

Reptile species (41)
Scientific Name Common Name Last sighting / EED 1 TSEW status IUCN status
Alinea lanceolata Barbados Skink 1889 PE CR (PE)
Anilios batillus Batillus Blind Snake Before 1894 (1874?) PE NE
Anolis roosevelti Culebra Giant Anole 1932 PE CR (PE)
Calamaria prakkei Prakke’s Reed Snake 1887-1893 PE CR (PE)
Capitellum mariagalantae Marie-Galante Skink 1830s PE CR (PE)
Capitellum metallicum Lesser Martinique Skink Before 1879 PE CR (PE)
Capitellum parvicruzae Lesser Saint Croix Skink 1875 PE CR (PE)
Cathetorhinus melanocephalus Black-headed Blind Snake 1800-1804 PE NE
Celestus anelpistus Giant Hispaniolan Galliwasp 1977 PE CR (PE)
Celestus microblepharis Small-eyed Galliwasp 1952 PE CR
Celestus molesworthi Portland Coast Galliwasp 1960s PE EN
Cynisca gansi Gans’ Worm Lizard (before?) 1968 PE CR (PE)
Emoia nativitatis Christmas Island Whiptail-skink 2014 PE CR
Erythrolamprus cursor Lacépède’s Ground Snake 1968 PE CR (PE)
Hypsirhynchus ater Jamaican Racer 1920-1930 (1970s?/2010?) PE CR (PE)
Hypsirhynchus melanichnus La Vega Racer 1910 PE CR (PE)
Leiocephalus endomychus Central Haitian Curlytail 1976 PE CR (PE)
Leiocephalus pratensis Atalaye Curlytail Lizard 1966 PE CR (PE)
Leiocephalus rhutidira Lapierre Curlytail Lizard 1978 PE CR (PE)
Lepidoblepharis miyatai Miyata’s Scaly-eyed Gecko 1964 PE CR (PE)
Liolaemus exploratorum Pioneer’s Lizard 1896 PE DD
Liophidium apperti ? 1968 PE DD
Lygodactylus inexpectatus Dar-es-Salaam Dwarf Gecko 1926 PE DD
Mabuya grandisterrae Grande-Terre Skink 1880-1920 PE NE
Mabuya guadeloupae Guadeloupe Skink 1892 PE NE
Mabuya hispaniolae Hispaniolan Two-lined Skink 1937 PE CR (PE)
Mabuya mabouya Greater Martinique Skink 1889 PE CR (PE)
Mabuya montserratae Montserrat Skink 1984 PE CR (PE)
Mitophis leptepileptus Haitian Border Threadsnake 1984 PE CR (PE)
Omoadiphas cannula ? 1989 PE CR (PE)
Pseudoxyrhopus ankafinaensis Ankafina Brook Snake 1880 PE CR (PE)
Sphaerodactylus gilvitorques Jamaican Least Gecko 1800s (before 1862?) PE DD
Sphaerodactylus williamsi Williams’ Least Gecko 1978 PE CR (PE)
Spondylurus haitiae Hispaniolan Four-lined Skink 1857-1858 PE CR (PE)
Spondylurus lineolatus Hispaniolan Ten-lined Skink 1985 PE CR (PE)
Spondylurus monitae Monito Skink 1993 PE CR (PE)
Stenocercus haenschi Haensch’s Whorltail Iguana 1901 PE CR (PE)
Tantilla albiceps Barbour’s Centipede Snake 1925 PE DD
Tarentola albertschwartzi Jamaican Giant Gecko Before 1884? PE DD
Trimetopon viquezi Viquez’s Tropical Ground Snake 1927 PE CR (PE)
Tropidophis bucculentus Navassa Dwarf Boa 1800s? PE NE
Reptile subspecies (4)
Scientific Name Common Name Last sighting / EED 1 TSEW status IUCN status
Farancia erytrogramma seminola South Florida Rainbow snake 1949-1952 PE NE
Liopholis slateri virgata Black-striped Floodplains Skink 1914 PE NE
Parasuta spectabilis bushi Bush’s Hooded Snake 1986 PE NE
Podarcis filfolensis kieselbachi Selmunett Wall Lizard 2007 PE NE

Notes

  1. The Effective Extinction Date (EED) is the last reliable record of collection or observation.

References

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. (2016). HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Groves, C. and Grubb, P. (2011). Ungulate Taxonomy. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.

Hume J.P. & Walters M. (2012). Extinct birds. London: T & AD Poyser, 544 pp. ISBN 978-1-4081-5725-1.

IUCN. (2016). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 25 December 2016).

Turvey, S. (2008). Witness to extinction. How we failed to save the Yangtze River Dolphin. Oxford University Press, New York.

Uetz, P., Freed, P. & Hošek, J. (eds.) (2016). The Reptile Database. http://www.reptile-database.org, accessed 25 December 2016.

Wilson, D.E. & Reeder, D.M. (editors). (2005). Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Johns Hopkins University Press, 2, 142 pp. http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/biology/resources/msw3/

Zippel, K.C.. (Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), Amphibian Program Officer), Personal communication, October 2010.

Citation: Maas, P.H.J. (2017). Globally Extinct Reptiles. In: TSEW (2017). The Sixth Extinction. http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct. Downloaded on .
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Updated: 29 July 2017