One of the saddest things happening today is the extinction of several animal species. Due to human interference, a lot of deforestation and pollution has happened. This has led to complete and total extinction, at the species level. Here are some of the most beautiful and interesting animals that humans have driven to total extinction, over the past 100 years.
#1 Northern white rhinoceros
Top on this list is definitely the Northern white rhinoceros, which is the subspecies of the white rhinoceros species. This species was found in the savanna east of the Sahara desert. Widespread poaching has led to the extinction of this beautiful animal. In March 2018, the last living male rhino passed away. Scientists are trying very hard to use IVF to create a lab-born baby rhino.
#2 Passenger pigeon
When Europeans first arrived in North America, Passenger Pigeons numbered in the millions. A lot of scientists say that they could have numbered in the billions. Due to large scale hunting and loss of habitat, the Passenger Pigeon sadly went extinct. The last captive bird died in 1914, and the death of the bird sparked a conversation regarding conservation. Something good did come out of their extinction.
#3 Pyrenean ibex
The Pyrenean ibex was a subspecies of mountain goat that was endemic to the Pyrenees range of mountains in Spain and France. Due to extensive hunting during the 19th century, this species was always at a risk. The dwindling population had to compete with sheep, goats, cows and horses who were native to the Pyrenees as well. All of this led to their extinction back in 2000.
#4 West african black rhinoceros
The rhinoceros is one of the animals that is at a huge risk of endangerment and extinction. The main reason for this is the large scale poaching that they are subjected to. In China and Yemen, it is believed that rhino horn has medicinal properties. The West African black rhino, which could be found in Cameroon, officially went extinct all the way back in 2011.
#5 Pinta (abingdon) island giant tortoise
The Pinta Island Giant Tortoise is a subspecies of the Galapagos Giant Tortoise that was found only in the Pinta Island of Ecuador. This species went extinct because the goats that humans introduced to Pinta Island went and destroyed all of their habitats. Humans also introduced rats to Pinta, which wreaked havoc on the tortoise eggs. The last living tortoise passed away in 2015.
#6 Yangtze river dolphin or baiji
Also known as the Baiji, the Yangtze River Dolphin is the first dolphin species to go extinct due to human interference. The Baiji was protected by Chinese fishermen in ancient times – it was thought to be a protector of the river. After China started to industrialize, the loss of habitat led to a drastic decrease in numbers. The last living baiji died in 2002.
#7 Bramble cay melomys
Endemic only to the tiny Australian island of Bramble Cay, the Bramble Cay melomys were a unique species of rodent. According to reports by the IUCN and the Australian government, the Bramble Cay melomys went extinct in 2016. The key reason given for their extinction happens to be a loss of habitat due to the higher sea level. It can all be chalked to global warming.
#8 Kakawahie honeycreeper
This little bird was native to the islands of Hawaii, in particular, the isolated island of Molokai. It went extinct somewhere in the 1960s, mainly due to a destruction of habitat caused by humans migrating to the island. Mosquitoes introduced to Molokai helped to spread avian disease and human-introduced predators all contributed to the extinction of the Kakawahie. This led to more awareness about the oloma’o bird.
#9 Caspian tiger
One of the largest subspecies of Panthera tigris, the Caspian tiger was found in a small area near the Caspian Sea. Under the Soviet Union, there were considerable conservation efforts to protect the dwindling population of Caspian tigers. Recreational hunting expeditions mounted by army officials and sportsmen led to the extinction of this species. The Caspian tiger was last seen in the 1970s, despite major conservation efforts.
#10 Costa rican golden toad
Endemic only to a small area close to the city of Monteverde in Costa Rica, the Golden Toad is one of the first amphibious species to go extinct. The golden toad is also referred to as the “poster child” of the amphibian decline crisis, since it went extinct due to massive human interference and pollution. The IUCN classified the species as formally extinct in 1989.
These have been 10 of the most beautiful animals that went extinct in the past 100 years or so, mainly due to human interference and apathy. It is time that humans started to make efforts to conserve the previous flora and fauna that can be found on Earth.