Wildlife

Steller’s Sea Cow – Extinct 1768

Steller’s sea cow was first seen by Europeans in 18th century around the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia. Fossil records show that its range was more extensive during the Pleistocene epoch (from 2.6 million to 11.7 thousand years ago) and its population numbers had been much …

FULL ARTICLE

Japanese Sea Lion – Extinct 1974

The Japanese sea lion was an aquatic mammal that became extinct in the 1970s and was to be found in the Japanese Archipelago and the Korean Peninsula. They inhabited the Sea of Japan along the northwest Pacific coastline, more specifically in Japan, Korea, southern Kamchatka Peninsula, Kuril Islands and …

FULL ARTICLE

Pyrenean Ibex – Extinct 2000

Ibex are wild goats that live in the mountainous regions of Europe, north central Asia and northern Africa. There are five species of ibex. They have long, curved horns and cloven hooves. Males have long beards. Ibex are related to antelopes, buffalo, bison, cattle, goats and sheep.The Pyrenean ibex was …

FULL ARTICLE

Western Black Rhinoceros – Extinct 2003

An estimated one million black rhinoceroses from four different subspecies roamed the savannas of Africa in 1900. By 2001 that number had dropped to about 2,300 black rhinos and just three subspecies. This is the story of how we exterminated one of those subspecies, the western black rhinoceros. There have been some …

FULL ARTICLE

Caribbean Monk Seal – Extinct 1952

The Caribbean Monk Seals were also known as the West Indian Monk Seals or Sea Wolves.  The first Europeans to see them in August 1494 were Christopher Columbus and his crew when their ship laid anchor off the island of Alta Velo. Their population size, prior to exploitation by Europeans and overfishing, as at …

FULL ARTICLE

The Moa – Extinct 1445

For millions of years, nine species of large, flightless birds known as Moas thrived on the islands today known as New Zealand (Aotearoa). The evolutionary lineage of these Moas dates back sixty million years. The Moa fed on twigs and plants. The Moas had one main predator and that was the …

FULL ARTICLE

Passenger Pigeon – Extinct 1914

The passenger pigeon flew with grace, speed, and agility. The bird had a small head and neck. The tail was elongated and wedge-shaped. The wingspan was broad and the wings were pointed and powered by large breast muscles that gave it capability for prolonged flight. The average length of the male was …

FULL ARTICLE

The Great Auk – Extinct 1844

The Great Auk was eighty centimetres tall, weighed around five kilos and looked like a large penguin. They spent most of their lives at sea but returned to land to nest. The great auk was a flightless bird and a fantastic swimmer and lived in the northern hemisphere. This bird ranged from Norway to …

FULL ARTICLE

Northern White Rhinoceros – Extinct 2018

It is estimated that 8,000 rhinoceros have been killed by humans in the last 10 years alone. There are 21,000 rhinoceros left in the world today. The evolutionary history of rhinoceros goes back 50 million years. The white rhinoceros is said to be descended from Ceratotherium praecox that lived around …

FULL ARTICLE

Empty Skies (2) – Power to the People

The recently published report called the ‘State of the World’s Birds 2018’ prepared by Birdlife International sends a stark warning to us all. 40% of the world’s 10,500 bird species are in decline and 12.5% are in danger of global extinction. Birds are found in all places on Earth and many of them travel across the …

FULL ARTICLE