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These species went extinct in 2018. More may be doomed to follow in 2019

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Status: Endangered
Population: 2,154-3,159
Geographic range: Tigers breed in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia and Thailand
Habitat: Shrubland, forest, grassland
Threats: Poaching of tigers for their skins, bones, meat and tonics is the greatest threat to the species, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
John Ballance, The Advocate via AP

  • epa07613103 A handout photo made available by the Lincoln Park Zoo on 30 May 2019 shows a healthy male eastern black rhinoceros calf (R) that was birthed by 13 year old Kapuki (L) at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on 19 May 2019. Since the birth, the calf has surpassed critical milestones including standing, nursing, pooping, and following Kapuki. Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to rhino conservation and is home to three adult rhinos, Maku, Kapuki, and Ricko, along with its newest arrival.  EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHER BIJALBA / LINCOLN PARK ZOO / HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES ORG XMIT: THM011 of 8
  • The Sunda Pangolin, one of the worlds most trafficked2 of 8
  • An unnamed Greater Bamboo Lemur cub clings on to its mother Veloma at the zoo of the citadel of Besancon, eastern France, on August 1, 2019. - The cub was born on July 2, 2019 to parents Veloma, 6 years, and Ivongo, 14 years. This lemur species from Madagascar is endangered. It is estimated that currently around 1000 animals live in nature, 26 live in zoos. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images ORIG FILE ID: AFP_1J92DB3 of 8
  • Vaquita (Phocoena sinus)4 of 8
  • A male red wolf enjoys a feeding in its habitat at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, N.C.5 of 8
  • Eastern and Western gorillas have been on the critically6 of 8
  • Mike VII is the mascot for LSU. He arrived in August of 2017 as an 11-month-old male Siberian-Bengal mix.7 of 8
  • This handout photo received 12 September 2007 courtesy of Brandeis University shows Alex, the world renowned African Grey parrot made famous by the ground-breaking cognition and communication research, conducted by Brandeis scientist Irene Pepperberg, PhD who died at the age of 31 on 06 September, 2007. Dr. Pepperbergs research resulted in Alex learning elements of English speech to identify fifty different objects, seven colors, five shapes, quantities up to and including six and a zero-like concept. AFP PHOTO/BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY/MIKE LOVETT/HO =RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE =GETTY OUT= (Photo credit should read MIKE LOVETT/AFP/Getty Images) ORG XMIT:8 of 8

They’d been on our planet for millions of years, but 2018 was the year several species officially vanished forever. 

Three bird species went extinct last year, scientists said, two of which are songbirds from northeastern Brazil: The Cryptic Treehunter (Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti) and Alagoas Foliage-gleaner (Philydor novaesi), according to a report from the conservation group BirdLife International

According to BirdLife, the other extinct bird is Hawaii’s Po’ouli (Melamprosops phaeosoma), which has not been seen in the wild since 2004 (the same year the last captive bird died). 

A disturbing trend is that mainland species are starting to go extinct, rather than island species: “Ninety percent of bird extinctions in recent centuries have been of species on islands,” said Stuart Butchart, BirdLife’s chief scientist and lead author on the paper.

Critics fear animal extinction: Trump overhauls Endangered Species Act

“However, our results confirm that there is a growing wave of extinctions sweeping across the continents, driven mainly by habitat loss and degradation from unsustainable agriculture and logging,” he said.

An additional species of bird – the Spix’s macaw, which was made famous in the 2011 animated movie “Rio” – was declared extinct in the wild. Only a few dozen captive Spix’s macaws are alive. 

That species was wiped out in the wild because of deforestation and other factors such as the creation of a dam and trapping for wild trade.

A few other bird species that are near extinction have such exotic names as the New Caledonian Lorikeet and the Pernambuco Pygmy-owl.

Beyond birds, other animals such as the vaquita (a dolphin-like porpoise) and the northern white rhino are near the end.

“Vaquitas are the most endangered of the world’s marine mammals,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. “Less than 30 vaquitas remain in the wild, and entanglement in gill nets is driving the species toward extinction.”

The last male northern white rhino died at a wildlife sanctuary in Kenya in 2017, Mashable reported. Only two females are left. 

In the USA, just a few dozen endangered red wolves remain in the wild, and the population could go extinct within eight years, according to a report released in 2018 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Earth “is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals – the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years,” according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

More: Humans have killed off most of Earth’s big mammals. In 200 years, cows could be biggest ones left.

More: Red wolves near extinction – only 40 left in the wild

The group said, “We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

“Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural ‘background’ rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate.” 

In the past 500 years, the center estimates that about 1,000 species have gone extinct, from the woodland bison of West Virginia and Arizona’s Merriam’s elk to the Rocky Mountain grasshopper, passenger pigeon and Puerto Rico’s Culebra parrot.


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