Tasmanian Wolf or
Thylacine, Thylacinus cynocephalus
The Tasmanian Wolf is not a wolf, but a carnivorous
marsupial and a relative of wombats and kangaroos. It even has a
pouch. Tasmanian officials promoting ranching paid bounties to
hunters. Believed to be extinct for well over half a century,
unconfirmed reported sightings persist.
The wolf became extinct in England in 1486, Scotland in
1743, and Ireland in 1770.
Quagga, Equus burchelli quagga, of the Karoo Plains
and southern Free State of South Africa were a subspecies of the Burchell’s
Zebra, although their unique appearance wouldn't necessarily make this
apparent. Some thought incorrectly that the Quagga was the female of
Burchell's Zebra, probably because the natives gave both zebras the same
In the wild, Quaggas, Ostriches and Wildebeests often grazed
together in what was termed the "triple alliance". The Quagga's
hearing, the Ostrich's eyesight and the Wildibeast's keen sense of smell
comprised excellent defense from predators for the entire herd.
However, its limited range made it all the more vulnerable and Quaggas were
hunted to the brink of extinction in the mid 19th Century by settlers razing
sheep, goats and other livestock. The last Quagga died in in 1883 in an
Turanian Tiger, Caspian Tiger
Caspian Tigers lived in China, Tajikistan, Iran, Afghanistan
and Turkey. They were hunted for their furs and to protect livestock.
A ban on hunting the Caspian Tiger in the USSR in 1947 followed their
greatest destruction in the 1930s. The last Caspian Tiger reported
shot was in 1957.
Steller's Sea Cow
Steller's Sea Cow was discovered in the Aleutian Islands by
George Steller while exploring with Vitus Bering in 1741.
They grew as large as 35 feet long and weighed up to
three-and-a-half tons. Sailors ate their meat and used
their leather. They were easily killed and vanished from their only
home within 30 years after Steller's discovery.
Steller's Sea Cow Drawn by
Carolina Parakeet, Gustav Mutzel
Once abundant, this extinct species nested in
large colonies in the cypress swamps in the South Atlantic and Gulf States.
They migrated up the Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers to the Platte and
regularly to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska, and in
the east to Pennsylvania. Hunted for their feathers and
slaughtered as pests, the last reported sighting in the wild was a small
flock in Florida in 1920.
Cormorant, Pallas' Cormorant
Also discovered in the Aleutian Islands by
George Steller while exploring with Vitus Bering in 1741. The Spectacled Cormorant
was extinct within about a century.
Dodo, Roland Savery
In 1505, Portuguese explorers discovered the island of
Mauritius and the 50 lb flightless Dodos which supplemented their food
stores. Imported pigs, monkeys and rats fed on the Dodo's eggs in
their ground nests. The last Dodo was killed in 1681.
Great Auk, Alfred Edmund Brehm
Look familiar? Before similar
looking birds were discovered in the southern hemisphere, the Great Auk or
Garefowl was also known as a Penguin. The Great Auk inhabited the
coasts and islands of the North Atlantic from Virginia and Ireland to
Greenland and Iceland almost to the Arctic Circle. The flightless bird
was easily captured. They and their eggs fed many sailors.
Shorebirds that breed in a limited number of colonies at only certain
locations are highly susceptible to concentrated stresses and the Great Auk
was extinct by mid Nineteenth Century.