6. Laysan Rail – extinction in 1944
Laysan rail was a flightless bird that is native of Northwestern Hawaiian Island of Laysan, and hence, the name. Laysan is still an important seabird colony in the United States. It has sustained a number of endemic species, including the rail. Laysan rail was initially threatened when domestic rabbits were introduced in the area. The rabbits caused the destruction of vegetation in the area. Soon, there was no habitat left for nest which drove the Laysan rail into extinction. The last rail was seen on Eastern Island in Midway in June 1944.(source)
7. Caspian tiger – extinction in 1970
With an average body length of about 3 meters (10 feet), Caspian tiger was one of the biggest cats to have ever lived. Its size has been described as being intermediate in between the Siberian and Bengal tigers. At one time, they used to inhabit the forest and riverine corridors of the west and south of the Caspian Sea. It had been recorded in the wild before the end of the 20th century. In the early 1970s, biologists from the Department of Environment searched for Caspian tigers in the uninhabited areas of Caspian forests. But after several years of search, they did not find any evidence of their presence. Finally, it was recorded as extinct.(source)
8. Gastric-brooding frog – extinction in 1981
Being native to Queensland, Australia, gastric-brooding frogs were a unique genus of ground-dwelling frogs. What makes these frogs unique among all frog species is their form of parental care. The eggs are fertilized by the male and then the female swallows them. The egg hatches and the tadpoles remain in their mother’s stomach for at least six weeks. During this period, the mother frog would not eat. When the offsprings are completely developed, the mother vomits them out through her mouth. In the above photograph, you can see a little one peeping from inside its mother’s mouth.
The last gastric-brooding frog recorded in wild was in 1981. Since then, extensive searches have been done over the last 35 years, but the species hadn’t been located. The gastric-brooding frogs’ extinction is due to the human’s introduction of pathogenic fungi into their native range. Habitat loss, degradation, pollution, and some diseases may have also contributed towards its end.(source)
9. Golden toad – extinction in 1989
Once abundant in the north of the city of Monteverde, Costa Rica, the Golden frog became extinct in 1989. It is also called Monte Verde toad, Alajuela toad, and orange toad. This toad was first described in 1966 by herpetologist Jay Savage. The last sighting of a single male golden toad was on 15 May 1989.
Male golden toad was orange and sometimes slightly mottled on the belly. The females showed a greater variety of colors, including black, yellow, red, green, and white. These toads spent the majority of their lives in moist underground burrows, particularly during the dry season. The cause of their extinction is poorly understood. According to IUCN, restricted range, global warming, and airborne pollution may have been some of the causes.(source)
10. Western black rhinoceros – extinction in 2006
The western black rhinoceros is a subspecies of the black rhinoceros. It emerged about 7 to 8 million years ago but was declared extinct by IUCN in 2011. While it was once widespread in the savanna of sub-Saharan Africa, its numbers declined due to poaching.
The western black rhinoceros were heavily hunted in the beginning of the 20th century. Their population rose in the 1930s after preservation actions were taken. But the number dwindled again as the protection efforts declined over the years. By 2000, only an estimated 10 western black rhinoceros survived and by 2001 only 5. In 2006, an extensive survey was done to locate any individual of this species. But there was no sign of rhino presence over the course of six months.(source)