Animals That Exist Only in the Wild

Guam kingfisher.
Guam kingfisher.

Extinct in the Wild (EW) animal species are animals that are alive only in captivity. Such animals are kept as naturalized populations outside their natural habitat to preserve them. Some have had their historical ecosystem destroyed while others have been hunted down to meager populations.

Sometimes, these species will be reintroduced in the wild and properly guarded since they have a challenge adapting to survival techniques in the wild. While efforts are made not to interfere with the genetics of such animals, the said species may not fully adapt to the natural ecosystem. Below animals are classified as EW.

Animals That Are Only Alive in Captivity

Guam Rail

The Guam rail is a flightless bird that is endemic to the Guam territory of the U.S. It has a size of approximately 11 inches and a grey stripe around its eyes. The Guam rail has a long body that is laterally compressed, specifically at its breast and neck regions, to enable it to easily maneuver through concentrated vegetation. The feather pattern and color are the same for both the male and female. However, the distinctive feature between them is their body size with the male bird having a larger body size than the female. The outstanding feature is their brown head, a dark black breast with dark brown legs and beak. Guam rails feed on either greens or meat.

Hawaiian Crow

The Hawaiian crow belongs to the crow family of birds and has become extinct in the wild of Hawaii where they used to thrive. The 19 to 20 inches long bird has fully developed wings. Hawaiian crows are identified by a thick black bill, soft brownish-black long feathers, and its black neck plumage. The bird is omnivorous thus feeds commonly on invertebrates such as arachnids, land snails and isopods. The Hawaiian crow communicates by producing two-toned caws with lower tones resembling cat meows. The bird is known to produce various sound when flying. The maturity period for male crows is four years while females take two to three years. The breeding period of the bird takes 5 months after the bird lays one to five eggs.

Christmas Island Blue-tailed Shinning Skink

The Christmas island blue tailed shinning skink, also called the cryptoblepharus egeriae, belongs to the species of skink. It has small, black body with brownish black or yellow stripes that converge at the bright blue colored tail. The lizard has a length that ranges from 1.6 to 3.1 inches. In case of any danger, the blue-tailed skink uses its tail to defend itself by popping it off. The young ones are born with a dark black body with bright yellow lines from the back of the neck to the bright blue tail. Towards maturity, the yellowish stripes disappear as their back starts turning brownish black in color, while underneath the neck a reddish color begins to form. However, the female lizard normally maintains their blue tail throughout their entire life. Blue-tailed skinks feed on worms and insects and use their tails to target and hit its predators.

Christmas Island Chained Gecko

The Christmas island chained gecko is a species of gecko endemic in the Animalia kingdom. It is also called the lister gecko, a name adopted from naturalist Jackson Lister. Lister geckos have a length of about 2 inches with a brown body. The upper part of the head and some parts of the tail are covered by wide pale grey lines. It has a scale-covered body and a white like belly. The lizard is commonly found on the plateau and rainforests ecosystem.

Alagoas Curassow

The Alagoas curassow is a shiny black pigeon-like bird formerly found in Brazil in the Alagoas region. The bird is 33 to 35 inches long and covered with black and shiny feathers having a combination of blue and purple color. The species have large, bright red flattened beak with a white tip. The coloration of the bird differs from male to female with the females having a light color and being slightly smaller in its size. The bird easily adopts to lowland tropical areas where it feeds on fruits and nuts. Reproduction begins once the birds attain the age of 2 years when the female lays 2 to 3 eggs. The bird has an average lifespan of 24 years.

Socorro Dove

The Socorro dove is native to Socorro island in Mexico. Their numbers have diminished over time, leading to the stepping up of re-introduction and conservation programs. The dove has a medium body of between 10.4 and 18.4 inches with long legs similar to those of Zenaida dove and an average weight of 190 grams (6.7 oz). The color pattern is not constant but usually varies from one species to the other. The male dove has a deep cinnamon color both on the underneath and on its head. The back of the neck is grey-blue with a blue patch which is more visible after the molting process.

Scimitar-Horned Oryx

The Scimitar oryx is a species of Oryx, that existed in countable numbers in Northern Africa up to 2000. The Oryx were hunted in large numbers for horns and meat. The antelope has a height of 3.3 feet from the ground to the shoulder. Scimitar Oryx has a white skin with red-brown chest and a black forehead. The young ones are born with a yellow skin which changes color to that of an adult 3 to 12 month after birth. The antelope can survive for long with no water in extremely hot places, an endurance enhanced by low metabolism. Their kidneys are slow in producing urine hence little water is lost through urination. Scimitar oryx is known to feed on grass, foliage, and succulent plants. The gestation period is eight to nine months with many births occurring between the month of March and October.

Pere David's Deer

Pere David’s deer is a species of deer that is closely related to the deer of the genus Cervus. The semi-aquatic animals inhabited the marshy ecosystem of China where it fed on aquatic plants as well as grass. The David deer has a length of between 6.2 and 7.2 feet and a height of up to 3.9 feet while the weight is between 135 and 200 kilograms. It has a tail of medium length between 20 to 26 inches when straightened. The head is long and slim with big eyes, long preorbital glands, small ears, and a naked nose pad.

Guam Kingfisher

The Guam kingfisher is a species of kingfisher that used to exist on the island of Guam. The medium-sized animal measures between 7.8 and 9.4 inches. Their feathers are brightly colored with a lustrous blue back and rusty red-brown head. Matured male Guam kingfishers have red-brown underpart while female and the young ones have a white underneath. The bills are large and flat while the legs are dark. The Guam kingfisher is known to be a very secretive bird, and they form their nest high up in an excavation on a soft-wooded tree. Young ones are taken care of by both the male and the female.

Plants that are Only Alive in Captivity

The Yellow Fatu is a highly endangered plant which was thought to be extinct until 2003 when a single plant was found in the Pitcairn Island in South America. Propagation of the plant began immediately in an artificial setting. The last wild plants were buried in the 2005 landslide making the plant completely extinct in the wild.

Animals That Only Exist in the WIld

RankAnimals That Only Exist in the Wild
1Guam rail
2Yellow fatu
3Hawaiian Crow
4Christmas Island Blue tailed Shinning Skink
5Christmas Island Chained Gecko
6Alagoas Curassow
7Socorro Dove
8Scimitar-horned Oryx
9Pere David's Deer
10Guam Kingfisher

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