Five Modern Extinct Species

Five Modern Extinct Species

 

Can you believe there are more than five modern extinct species? Just recently, a study published by researchers from Stanford, Princeton and the University of California – Berkeley declared the world’s vertebrates are going extinct 114 times faster than nature’s normal rate of extinction. The new study reports the Earth has entered into its sixth mass extinction phase — the first mass extinction since the era of the dinosaurs.

 

According to the study, human activity related to development and climate change are aggravating the problem.

 

Now how do we avoid it? According to the researchers of this study, humans should exert “rapid and greatly intensified” efforts to conserve the environment, especially the already threatened species, avoid habitat loss and prevent climate change. We need to act fast if we want results.

Five Modern Extinct Species

Extinction of Species and Habitat Destruction: By the Numbers

 

  • Every 20 minutes, the world adds another 3,500 human lives, but loses one or more entire species of animal or plant life – at least 27,000 species per year. (Source: PBS)
  • At the present rates of extinction, as many as 20% of the world’s 7-15 million species could be gone in the next 30 years.
  • This rate of extinction has been unprecedented since the disappearance of dinosaurs 65 million years ago (Source: WWF).
  • 240 acres (94.12 hectares) of habitat is destroyed every hour of every day.
  • 80% of the decline in biological diversity is caused by habitat devastation.

 

 

Scientists have discovered that within the past decade, some animals were wiped from existence. Here are 5 of the species presumed to be now extinct:

 

  1. Golden toad, Costa Rica: The golden toad (Incilius periglenes) was believed to be abundant in small, high altitude regions in Monteverde, Costa Rica. However, its last male sighting was recorded in 1989 and no specimen has been seen ever since. Years of comprehensive searching have passed. Unfortunately, the golden toad species was declared extinct in August 2007. According to scientists, chytrid fungi infestation, airborne pollution and global warming are said to be the major contributors to the end of this species.
  2. Baiji dolphin, China: The Baiji is a freshwater dolphin only found in the Yangtze River in China. In the 1950s, there was an estimate of 5,000 Baiji dolphins thriving in the river. Because the Baiji was also called “the goddess of the river,” the dolphin’s skin was very valuable and was used to make handbags and gloves. In the late 1970s, the People’s Republic of China declared it endangered due to hunting, overfishing, industrial and domestic waste flowing into the Yangtze river, and entanglement in fishing nets and gears. Another threat to the dolphins was the use of electric fishing. The Baiji’s last confirmed sighting was in 2004 and by 2006, it was declared extinct.
  3. Hawaiian crow, Hawaii: This native bird from Hawaii was declared extinct in the wild in 2002 when the last two known individuals vanished. Researchers speculate that avian malaria may have caused the endangerment and ultimate extinction of this species in the wild. In fact, avian malaria has been putting a lot of bird species under threat. The only solution in beating this introduced disease is to end deforestation. These birds originally dwelled in high altitude areas and because these areas were affected by deforestation, these birds had to migrate to lower areas. The loss of the birds’ natural habitat contributed to the extinction of Hawaiian crows in the wild.
  4. The Pyrenean ibex became extinct in the year 2000 when the last surviving individual from this species died after getting killed by a falling tree. Scientists tried cloning the Ibex, but it died seven minutes later due to lung defects. The potential reasons why the Pyrenean ibex got extinct include poaching, diseases and inability to compete with other species to hunt for food.
  5. West African Black Rhino, West Africa. This is the rarest of the black rhino subspecies. Right now, it is being recognized as a critically endangered animal, but it is feared that it may be extinct. The major cause of the decline of this species is due to poaching. In the year 2000, only 10 rhinos remained. As of today, there is no West African black rhino known to be held in captivity.

 

 

We hope this list helps you think about just how amazing and precious life is on earth. As the stewards of earth, we must take better care of our natural habitats. This is the only earth we have. Make sure you recycle to help save the earth. If you have tips on wildlife conservation and habitat preservation, share it with us here!

 

 

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