Extinction is a natural process; a typical species used to become extinct within 10 million years of its first appearance but these days, when the planet is bursting at the seams with over 7 billion humans, the species loss is now occurring at a rate more than 1,000 times greater than it would be without our “contribution”. Human expansion, hunting, and the destruction of natural habitats, climate changes, pollution and other factors are to blame for the loss of numerous animal species. However, on this post, we will show you 25. From the small bright Golden toad to the frightening looking Zanzibar leopard, these are 25 animals that have gone extinct within past decades.
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A close relative to the critically endangered Javan rhino, the Vietnamese rhino was once abundant in Southeast Asia. In 2006, there was a single population of the species, estimated at fewer than 12 remaining specimens, living in an area of lowland forest in the Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the very last individual of this population was shot by a poacher in 2010.
Canary Islands oystercatcher
Once endemic to the Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain the Canary Islands oystercatcher was a shorebird measuring up to 45 centimeters (17 inches) in length. Excessive commercial fishing depleted the bird´s natural source of food and led to its eventual extinction. The Canary Islands oystercatcher was officially declared extinct in 1994 but it is possible that the bird vanished as early as in the 1940s.
Formosan clouded leopard
Once endemic to Taiwan, the Formosan clouded leopard was a subspecies of clouded leopard, a rare Asian cat that was considered to be the evolutionary link between the big cats and the small cats.
Smith Island cottontail
The Smith Island cottontail was a rabbit species native to the Delmarva Peninsula in Virginia. Found in brush and grassy areas, in marsh borders, thickets of myrtle and poison ivy, and sometimes in pine forests, the animal was about 50 centimeters (20 inches) long and weighed up to 1.5 kilogram (3.3 pounds).
Also known as the Oustalet’s duck, the Mariana mallard is an extinct type of duck once endemic to the Mariana Islands, an archipelago in the north-western Pacific Ocean. Habitat loss, massive hunting and damage to the islands during World War II were the main reasons for this duck’s extinction. There were some efforts to reproduce the species in captivity with no success.