History of animals and plants extinction

History of extinction of animal and plant species

16th century

  • 1500-1550 – The Waitaha penguin of South Island became extinct.

17th century

  • 1627 – The last known aurochs died in Poland. This large wild cattle formerly inhabited much of Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and India.
  • 1645 – Finsch’s duck survived in New Zealand until around this time.
  • 1662 – The last definite sighting of a dodo was made in Mauritius. The extinction was due to hunting, but also by the pigs, rats, dogs and cats brought to the island by settlers. The species has become an iconic symbol of animal extinction.
  • The elephant bird Aepyornis maximus was last recorded around the end of the 17th century.

18th century

  • 1768 – Steller’s sea cow became extinct due to overhunting for meat and leather.
  • 1773 – The Tahiti sandpiper died out after rats were introduced to its habitat in the Society Islands.
  • 1774 – The Sardinian pika became extinct due to invasive species (foxes, cats, etc.) that were introduced to Sardinia and Corsica.
  • 1777 – The Society parakeet population dies out on the Society Islands after vessels released pests.
  • 1790 – The Lord Howe swamphen, also known as the white gallinule, becomes extinct.

19th century

  • 1800 – The last known bluebuck was shot, making the species the first African antelope to be hunted to extinction by European settlers.
  • 1825 – The mysterious starling died out.
  • 1826 – The Mauritius blue pigeon becomes extinct due to excessive hunting.
  • 1827 – The Tonga ground skink dies out from its only home in the Tongan Islands.
  • 1852 – The last sighting of a great auk was made off the coast of Newfoundland. The bird was driven to extinction by hunting for its fat, feathers, meat, and oil.
  • 1860 – The string tree from the island of St Helena becomes extinct because of habitat destruction.
  • 1860 – The sea mink becomes extinct because of hunting for its fur.
  • 1875 – The broad-faced potoroo was last recorded.
  • 1876 – The Falkland Islands wolf became extinct.
  • 1878 – Labrador duck declared extinct after last appearances in Long Island three years earlier.
  • 1879 – The last known Atlas bear, Africa’s only native bear, is killed by hunters in Morocco. The bear was heavily hunted and used for sport in the Roman Empire.
  • 1880 – The eastern elk, a subspecies of elk in the US and Canada, is declared extinct.
  • 1883 – The Quagga, a sub-species of the plains zebra, goes extinct.
  • 1886 – The red alga known as Bennett’s seaweed from Australia disappears because of the massive human activities.
  • 1889 – The last Hokkaido wolf dies from poisoning campaign.
  • 1890 – The eastern hare-wallaby was last recorded.

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