Animals Who Are Extinct in the Wild

The Guam kingfisher, pictured here, is extinct in the wild.
The Guam kingfisher, pictured here, is extinct in the wild.

Most of the animals present in the world have a natural habitat in the wild where they are endemic. These animals occupy certain environments because of their adaptations and favorable conditions of their habitats. As the environment is constantly changing, these animals are negatively influenced which leads to the decrease in their population size. Some animals have however been severely affected that they no longer exist in their natural wild habitats. They are only present in captive breeding and other conservatory facilities. The following is an analysis of animals that have been listed on the IUCN Red List as to be extinct in the wild.


Baxter's Toad – Anaxyrus baxteri

Baxter's toad is extremely rare and exists only in captivity around Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming, United States. It is because of its lack of existence in the wild that the IUCN Red list has listed as extinct. It's believed that Baxter's toad species was common until the 1950s when it started to decrease in number in the late 70s, with the year 1978 seeing the sharpest decline. The species has a dark brown and gray color. They are believed to inhabit floodplains and little grass edges and lakes. The major threat that has led to the extinction of this species in the wild is the infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus.

Hawaiian Crow – Corvus hawiiensis

The Hawaiian crow is a species of bird scientifically classified in the family Corvidae and is no longer in existence in the wild. The species is believed to be about 48-50 cm long with rounded wings. The Hawaiian crow species is thought to be the most at risk in the family Corvidae. Study show that it lived 18 years in the wild and 28 years in captivity. Due to its lack of existence in the wild, it has had a significant effect on the environment since it was necessary for seed dispersal and germination as seeds when through its digestive system undigested. It is believed to have inhabited the dry forest situated on the slopes of Mauna Loa. This species has been a victim of habitat alteration and loss of food plants caused by logging and ungulates. Human disturbance during breeding in their habitats is the other major threats of the Hawaiian crow. Some individuals are still present in captive breeding facilities, and plans are also underway to reintroduce them.

Guam Rail - Hypotaenidia owstoni

Guam rail is a species of bird that is flightless and endemic to Guam, a Pacific territory of the United States. This bird is a medium-sized rail that is about 28 cm long. Guam rail has an elongated body and a compressed neck and breast regions enabling it to traverse dense vegetation. Before the 1960s, the Guam rail had a population of approximately 70,000 individuals. An accidental transportation of the brown tree snake at the end of the World War II to its habitats was the beginning of its reduction in population. The Guam rail was not familiar to this predator and therefore did not know how to protect itself adequately. A Severe decline of this species was in the 1970s, and the last individual in the wild was in 1987. Other threat includes habitat loss and predations by monitor lizards, pigs, feral cats, and rats.


Proper conservation in the captive breeding facilities could help restore these animals who are extinct in the wild. There should be caution though to avoid interbreeding that will genetically alter their original breed. Different conservatory bodies should collaborate in identifying ways of reintroducing these animals into their natural habitats and elimination of their threats.

Animals Who Are Extinct in the Wild

RankCommon NameScientific Name
1Butterfly splitfinAmeca splendens
2Baxter's toadAnaxyrus baxteri
3Pinzon giant tortoiseChelonoidis duncanensis
4Hawaiian crowCorvus hawiiensis
5Cyprinodon alvareziPerrito de Potosi
6La palma pupfishCyprinodon longidorsalis
7Pere David's deerElaphurus davidianus
8Guam railHypotaenidia owstoni
9Catarina pupfishMegupsilon aporus
10Alagoas curassowMitu mitu
11Kihansi spray toadNectophrynoides asperginis
12Black softshell turtleNilssonia nigricans
13Scimitar-horned oryxoryx dammah
14Golden skiffiaSkiffia francesae
15Guam kingfisherTodiramphus cinnamominus
16Socorro doveSenaida graysoni

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