Although we have discovered thousands of new species over the past few years, this generation has also seen the extinction of a number of animals. Many of these became extinct because of environmental depletion and some due to hunting and poaching. Here are a few animals that got declared extinct over the last twenty years.
Also known as the orange toad or Monteverde toad, this toad was only found in Costa Rica’sMonteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Although once a common specie, their population started to decline in the 80’s until the last one was seen in 1989. They were officially declared extinct in 2007. Researchers say that chytridiomycosis which is an amphibian disease, airborne pollution as well as climate change caused the demise of this specie.
The last Baiji dolphin, or Yantze River dolphin, was seen in the 2002. The specie had already been tagged as critically endangered but scientists are already saying that they could be extinct. A group of researchers even went on a search in 2006, covering almost 2,000 miles looking for any signs of surviving dolphins. Decline of the Baiji dolphin’s population is caused by poaching,pollution, habitat loss, boat traffic, and overfishing. For a time, they were even hunted for their skin, which was used to make luxury bags and gloves.
A native in Hawaii, this bird is said to be extinct in the wild. The last two wild individuals disappeared in 2002. There are some individuals that live in captivity, and more than 40 specimens were hatched in breeding programs. However, the breeding programs did not end well as mortality rate still increased. Scientist till can’t pin point what caused the population of this bird to decrease to the point of extinction, but some speculated that the illness avian malaria could have been a main reason.
This is actually one of the two Spanish ibexsubspecies that were tagged extinct. They were once commonly seen across the areas of Spain and France, however during the 1900s, population of the Pyrenean ibex fell lower than a hundred individuals. The last of these animals died in 2000. Researchers tried cloning these animals, but failed. Diseases, poaching and inability to compete for food cause their population to die out.
Although there are about 70 Spix's macaw alive in captivity, the last bird that lived in the wild was seen in 2000. Although technically extinct, the species is tagged as critically endangered since its potential habitat is not thoroughly surveyed. Once common in northern Brazil, these birds slowly died out in the wild because of trapping, hunting, habitat destruction, as well as the introduction of “killer bees” which competed for their nesting sites.