In this article we will talk about the extinct animals in 2016 and the animals in danger of extinction in 2017. Human beings are one of the species that inhabits the Earth. For this reason, it is important to become aware that other species not only have the same right to survive, but that they are useful and necessary to maintain the ecological balance of the planet.
Although “new” species are being found year after year, this does not mean that extinctions are being neutralized. When we discover a species, it is only new to humans. In reality, there is a limited group of species and the total number is decreasing alarmingly: extinct animals add up without stopping.
It is often impossible to know when a species became biologically extinct . In other words, it is often impossible to know the exact moment in which the last individual of a given species dies.
For this reason, specific parameters of time of no sighting are used to consider an extinct species. Species believed to be extinct have sometimes been rediscovered, such as the coelacanth or the Banggai raven .
Extinct animals in 2016
Among the extinct animals in 2016, this small rodent called Melomys rubicola endemic to Bramble Cay, in Australian waters of the Torres Strait, was last seen in 2009, so after an exhaustive search it was considered extinct, attributing its disappearance to the climate change . It is believed that the flooding of their habitat due to rising sea levels caused their disappearance.
The beetle Stephan rifle and cave beetle Tatum are extinct. These animals were only known in Arizona and Kentucky, respectively, and while federal protection was requested for both species, it was never granted.
The St. Christopher’s Vermilion Flycatcher ( Pyrocephalus dubius ) is added to the list of extinct animals. This bird discovered and taxonomized by Darwin that lived in the Galapagos Islands was reported missing. The extinction of this bird was probably accelerated by an invasion of non-native rats (the eternal problem of invaders) and it is the first species of bird in this particular ecosystem to disappear completely.
The Rabb’s tree frog has been considered extinct as no specimen has been sighted since 2007 in its habitat: the jungles of Panama. The species probably became extinct due to a deadly fungus that attacks amphibian populations in Central America: the chitter .
Although their reintroduction is being considered, the tigers have been officially declared extinct throughout Cambodia , since the last one documented in the wild was photographed in 2007.
The Irrawaddy River dolphin is functionally extinct in Laos, due to net fishing. This means that it is possible that some specimens remain, but it is considered that they are not enough for the breed to be perpetuated: another one on the list of extinct animals.
Another example of a functional extinction is that of the Addax antelopes , of which only three are estimated to remain, in the deserts of Africa. Poaching has killed almost all the specimens in the wild, although there are still some in captivity.
An uncertain future for species
If 2016 was a difficult year for the animal kingdom, the list of extinct animals in 2017 could be worse. Most scientists agree that we are experiencing a sixth mass extinction, but unlike the previous five that spanned millions of years and were caused by catastrophic natural disasters, humans are responsible for this. .
Climate change, agricultural expansion, wildlife crime, invasive species , pollution and disease are accelerating the disappearance of species.
WWF recently predicted that if current trends in population loss continue through 2020, two-thirds of the population of vertebrates, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles will disappear irretrievably, compared to 1970 levels.
According to the journal Science Advances, the extinction rate of vertebrates has increased almost 100 times . Another study, published in the journal Current Biology, notes that some species are likely to go extinct, before scientists have a chance to discover and classify them.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has tried to show the scope of the problem on its Red List, which includes all threatened species. Here are some of the animals we should pay special attention to in 2017.
Endangered animals in 2021
Dolphins and porpoises
A UN report found that ocean acidification is already 26% and more than half of the Mediterranean’s dolphins, sharks and rays are at risk of extinction.
The vaquita of Mexico , the smallest species of porpoise, is at serious risk.
In May, an acoustic survey by the Biology Conservation Institute found that only 60 vaquitas remained and it is feared that this number has already decreased, due to the poaching of totoaba (a fish endemic to the area and also in danger).
African gray parrot
The African gray parrot : went from “vulnerable” to “endangered.” Highly intelligent and capable of mimicking human speech, the African gray parrot population has declined by as much as 99% in some places, due to habitat loss and capture.
The giraffe : the tallest land creature on the planet is falling victim to what scientists call a “silent extinction” due to poaching and habitat loss. On the IUCN Red List, its rating has gone from “least concern” to “vulnerable” , when 40% of the specimens were found to be missing.
A study in the journal PNAS reported that there are only about 7,000 individuals left of the fastest land animal on earth, the cheetah , when its population a century ago exceeded 100,000 individuals.
In the US, the jaguar had been considered extinct, until “El Jefe” was found, filmed and photographed, an elusive animal whose exact whereabouts are often unknown. It is believed that he emigrates to Mexico in search of female companionship to procreate.
But the dangers mount for this magnificent specimen, from the feared Trump wall and an open pit mine that threatens its habitat in the US, to Mexican ranchers who hunt jaguars for sport. If he does not survive, “The Chief” will be the first known case of “Re-extinction” of a race.
Having been hunted for their horns, which were mistakenly believed to possess healing properties, the result is that the western black rhino is now extinct and only three white rhinos remain in Africa and a small population of Javanese rhinos in Indonesia, but the subspecies They have also disappeared, adding to the black list of extinct animals.
Seven species of yellow-faced bees from Hawaii entered the endangered species list last year, but overall, bees around the world are endangered ; potentially affecting the planet’s food supply: bees are responsible for pollinating almost half of the world’s food.
The elephant , the largest land animal in the world, has grown from 10 million individuals to less than 400,000. A pan-African census reported that savanna elephants have lost nearly a third of their population in the past seven years and poaching could kill them all within 20 years.