The Extinction Website
www.extinct-website.co.uk and www.extinct-website.com
have merged and have became one site.
Sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.
We are trying our best to do all update to site as soon as possible.
This website has an educational, non-profit purpose and is made to provide information on recently extinct animals and plants and to make people aware of what we have lost because sadly not enough of us know what is happening. The more people we can make aware of this problem the more can be done to prevent more extinctions!
Currently 936 documented extinctions Extinct and Possibly extinct species and subspecies.
But I am sorry to say there is more to follow.
Extinction The other side of evolution
Just as the death of an elderly or infirmed individual allows space for a younger more vigorous replacement, so extinction is a normal, healthy event in nature when it has been caused naturally?
The mass extinction we face Today is an enormous problem which affects the whole planet we live in. It involves many issues that are so complicated and in many cases are relatively new to science and especially us - mankind. Situations that we can't handle even with our superior intelligence - know how.
The definition of extinct is obviously highly questionable and of uncertain, doubtful nature. As previously mentioned extinction is forever? but is it? This phrase although true is not always completely correct. Care must be taken when we presume that the survival of an entire species or subspecies has ceased to exist.
When is a species or subspecies branded extinct? that's the question to be answered. The commonly used criterion that it no longer existing is if there has been an absence of any authentic records, either verified by capture of a living specimen if possible or if not a confirmed sighting of an individual by photographic evidence still shot or on video film within the last few past decades is not always good grounds to establish an extinction, Simply and honestly we believe its gone so we don't make a particularly strong effort to continue looking for it. We don't know if a species hasn't been seen for a while because it's really has gone, or simply we haven't bothered looking for it. We can never be absolutely certain about extinction.
How many species have we lost? How can we estimate the total number of extinctions?
Known as the background rate of extinction which is the number of extinctions that would naturally occur without human influence or even the complete absence of mankind. Estimates for this have been difficult to calculate but figures vary as one to ten species per hundred years approximately. The Current rate appears to be hundreds or perhaps thousands time greater than that.
Whilst the exact number of species that have been lost in modern times lets say the last 500 years or so is uncertain simply due to that many species have died out became extinct prior to them being scientifically identified so there existence went unknown. So the exact number would be much greater than ever thought.
But the number of documented extinctions is a disturbing fact well over 1,500 species this is alarming simply because the number of documented extinctions is without a doubt a gross underestimate of the actual number lost.
Many species that have presently been placed as status unknown or Data Deficient are still on record as still living and may have been lost years ago. It's a disturbing prediction that the rate is increasing steadily every couple of decades go by, more and more species and subspecies are lost will it ever end the answer seems to be NO.
The next section will explain more clearly what we have done to have lost these species and subspecies it gets more disturbing and depressing the more I research into it as a whole the future seems bleak for many others.
Why have all these species disappeared? Causes of extinction.
Hunting, Baiting and Trapping
Hunting has been a big part of mans' evolution generally to obtain food supplies and other resources for our everyday survival.
Today, hunting is in theory dead we no longer need to hunt for our food but now sport and commercial hunting has replaced the old trend with the new.
Hunting as a sport for leisure purposes though the most questionable perhaps on moral grounds has the least impact but commercial hunting, baiting and trapping for meat, furs, skins, ivory, medical products etc are amongst many reasons for mass slaughter of a species.
This has rarely been effectively controlled to a manageable level and it continues to lead to the extinction of species globally.
The hunting and trapping to capture live specimens for the exotic pet trade and tourism has to have a mention aswell this results in a high loss of species.
Introduced species and diseases
These alien species have come with man on their travels, sometimes deliberately (e.g., livestock released by sailors onto islands as a source of food) and sometimes accidentally (e.g., rats escaping from boats)
in turn they have competed with native species for food, grazing, shelter and territories also resulting in spreading pest and diseases that are not familiar and have never had contact with and their bodies couldn't tolerate so could adapt or cope with so resulting in extinction.
Habitat Degradation and Fragmentation
Throughout recorded history the surface of this planet has strongly reflected the pattern and intensity of the land use by us.
Demand for agricultural land for domesticated animals to graze and the growing of crops, deforestation for raw materials such as timber for shelter and shade and the damming and drainage of wetlands for more fertile land
has significant impacts in the mode and rate of transformation of the surrounding landscapes globally.
All this habitat destruction is all being carried out in the name of development of the human race and because of this it seems that this is a never ending task.
This in turn has lead to inadequate space to sustain all the species that once would have lived there resulting in more extinctions.
Introduction of Toxic Substances Pollution
Theswe toxic substances such as pesticedes and herbicides these in turn enter the food chain of all life and can cause serious health problems and even death, often well away from the orginal source of the pollutant toxin.
These toxins not just pesticedes and herbicedes but all chemicals and gases we use pollutes our surroundings in the water and in the earth a noxious cocktail brews to a point of destruction and in the air all the gases rise and trap the sun's rays of heat through the so called
greenhouse effect which we all know and dread resulting in a global warming widespread which affects all life on Earth.
Key to species listed.
All species shall be categorically placed into one of five possible classifications depending on their status.
EX = Officially declared extinct.
EX? = Not officially extinct but not seen in the past few decades.
EX* = Generally regarded as extinct in the past but nowadays regarded as an invalid species due to scientific evidence pointing out that they were and are the same to other species that is currently existing in other location.
EXw = Extinct in the wild but known to exist in captivity.
EXe = Effectively extinct - (read note below).
Effectively extinct is a term employed precisely to describe a species or subspecies which officially there are a few soilitary representatives which for various reasons are unable to reproduce so the survival of their species can't be saved.
Such reasons may include the following the existence of just a solitary individual or of several which are of the same gender or even the existence of both genders but are too old, diseased to mate or unable to produce viable offspring.
Unless further individuals turn up these species in question have no chance of survival its effectively extinct with no hope.
Preventing More Extinctions The case for conservation
As previously mentioned extinction will ultimately cause the extinct of mankind.
Earth hasn't experienced a mass extinction since the time of the dinosaurs when virtually all life became extinct, then isn't it possible that this catastrophic event could possible happen again?
This is a question we can personal not answer only nature can as its a natural process but we can help to slow it down and possibly prevent it from happening.
The faster we eliminate and destroy life we increase the chance of triggering a catastrophic event of mass extinction resulting in the extinction of mankind.
So this is where the argument for conservation comes to mind the protection of any species. This is where numerous arguments are used to promote conversation.
All species have a right to exist in peace and harmony. They enhance the surroundings and make it a more interesting place to live in.
Another is the materialistic theory is that all life was put on this planet for some reason in its whole form it has a function and use to mankind's existence and the planet as a whole,
although superficially attractive, this view is dubious and doubl edged. This question will always be left open and unanswered as there will always be arguments on both sides for and against the conservation of any species how large or small,
important or insignificant it is for this supposed balanced natural equilibrium we live in?
I believe that every individual should do their own little part to help maintain this natural equilibrium. Support it in everyway possible we feel fit to do so.
Don't harm it but care for it as part of our family.