When you think of animals that are extinct (no longer living on the earth), you might think of dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, and saber-toothed tigers. These animals died out because of natural changes in their environments. Humans had nothing to do with these extinctions and couldn’t have prevented them.
But today, many animals have become extinct or are on the verge of extinction either partly or entirely because of human behavior. And in these cases, there are things we can do to save these animals. Below are a few of the animals that have become extinct in the last 100 years.
- Millions of passenger pigeons once flew over North America. Migrating in huge flocks, their passing sometimes caused the sky to darken for two hours or more and came with a deafening roar. Hunted for meat and for their feathers, the passenger pigeons became nothing more than a memory in the early 20th
- 1989 marked the last sighting of the golden toad in Costa Rica. Scientists believe climate change or the El Nino weather cycle, which brought very dry weather, probably wiped this amphibian out.
- Bird feathers were used to adorn women’s hats during the Victorian period, a fashion trend that proved devastating to many bird species, including the Carolina parakeet, which had beautiful green, red, and yellow plumage. The last parakeet died in a zoo in 1918.
- Similar to a pheasant, the heath hen roamed throughout the eastern U.S. for centuries, but became extinct because of overhunting, wild fires, and loss of habitat.
- The Tasmanian tiger was last spotted in 1936. This animal looked like a dog and had stripes like a zebra. It was sometimes called “the vampire dog,” and was said to drink human blood (not likely).
- The Caspian tiger lived on the planet for more than 10,000 years before the Russian government ordered its extermination during the 20th By 1970, the last one was gone.
- In the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain lived the Pyrenean ibex, a nimble wild goat with long, curved horns. It was declared extinct in 2000.
- The Caribbean monk seal was hunted for its blubber by European colonists and was declared extinct in 2008.
- The last Barbary lion was probably killed by a hunter in Morocco in 1922, although some scientists speculate that the lion might still exist in zoos.
- Pesticides and loss of habitat led to the extinction of the Madeira large white, a beautiful, white European butterfly.
Visit the Weather Channel to learn about animals that went extinct in 2018.