List of extinct animals of the British Isles
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This is a list of extinct animals of the British Isles. Only a small number of these are globally extinct, most famously the Irish elk, great auk and woolly mammoth. Most of the remainder survive to some extent outside the islands. The list includes introduced species only in cases where they were able to form self-sustaining colonies for a time. Only species extinct since Great Britain was separated from mainland Europe are included. The date beside each species is the last date when a specimen was observed in the wild or, where this is not known, the approximate date of extinction. The list is complete for mammals, reptiles, freshwater fish and amphibians.
- 1 Mammals
- 2 Birds
- 3 Fish
- 4 Amphibians
- 5 Reptiles
- 6 Insects
- 7 Crustaceans
- 8 Reintroduction and re-establishment
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- Arctic lemming – c. 8000 B.C.
- Arctic fox - c. (unknown)
- †Eurasian aurochs – c. 1000 B.C.
- Barbary macaque - c. 30,000 B.C.
- †Cave bear – c. 15,000 B.C.
- Coypu – 1978 (nonnative)
- Eurasian elk - Bronze Age
- Eurasian beaver – 1526 (reintroduced)
- Eurasian brown bear – c. A.D. 1000
- Eurasian lynx – c. A.D. 400
- Grey whale – c. 598 B.C.
- Eurasian wolf – A.D. 1680 in Great Britain, A.D. 1786 in Ireland
- †Irish elk – c. 6000 B.C.
- Narrow-headed vole – c. 8000 B.C.
- Steppe pika – c. 8000 B.C.
- Root vole – c. 1500 B.C.
- Saiga antelope – c. 10,000 B.C.
- Steppe lemming – c. 8000 B.C.
- †Tarpan – c. 7000 B.C.
- Walrus – c. 1000 B.C. (occasional visitor) 
- Wild boar – c. 1400 (reintroduced) 
- Wisent – c. 3000 B.C.
- Wolverine – c. 6000 B.C.
- †Woolly mammoth – c. 10,000 B.C.
- †Woolly rhinoceros – c. 10,000 B.C.
- †Cave lion – c. 10,000 B.C.
- †Scimitar-toothed cat - c. 30,000 B.C.
- †Cave hyena - c. 11,000 B.C.
- †European jaguar - c. (unknown)
- †European Ice Age leopard - c. 24,000 B.C.
- †European gazelle - c. (unknown)
- Fea's petrel – Iron Age
- Dalmatian pelican – c. 1000 B.C.
- Eurasian spoonbill – 15th century (re-established)
- Little egret – late medieval period (re-established)
- Osprey – 1916 (re-established)
- White-tailed eagle – 1916 (reintroduced)
- Western marsh harrier – late 19th century (re-established)
- Northern goshawk – late 19th century (possibly reintroduced)
- Western capercaillie – 1780s (reintroduced)
- Great bustard – 19th century (reintroduced)
- Common crane – late medieval period (re-established)
- Pied avocet – 19th century (re-established)
- Kentish plover – 20th century (last breeding record 1979)
- †Great auk – 1844
- White stork – 1416
- Red-backed shrike – 1989 (as a regular breeding bird)
- Wryneck (as a regular breeding bird)
- European pond terrapin – ≤ 3000 B.C.
- Agonum sahlbergi (ground beetle) – 1914
- Blue stag beetle – 19th century
- Graphoderus bilineatus (water beetle) – 1906
- Harpalus honestus (ground beetle) – 1905
- Horned dung beetle – 1957
- Ochthebius aeneus (water beetle) – 1913
- Platydema violaceum (tenebrionid) – 1957
- Rhantus aberratus (water beetle) – 1904
- Scybalicus oblongiusculus (ground beetle) – 1926
- Teretrius fabricii (histerid) – 1907
Bees, wasps and ants
- Andrena polita (mining bee) – 1934
- Bombus pomorum, apple bumblebee – 1864
- Bombus cullumanus, Cullum's bumblebee – 1941
- Eucera tuberculata (mining bee) – 1941
- Halictus maculatus (mining bee) – 1930
- Mellinus crabroneus (digger wasp) – c. 1950
- Odynerus reniformis (mason wasp) – 1915
- Odynerus simillimus (mason wasp) – 1905
- Short-haired bumblebee – 1989
Butterflies and moths
General reference: Waring et al., 2009.
- Aporia crataegi, black-veined white – 1925
- Borkhausenia minutella – 1950
- Conformist (moth) –
- Euclemensia woodiella (moth) – 1829
- Flame brocade (moth) – 1919
- Frosted yellow (moth) – 1914
- Gypsy moth – 1907; reappeared 1995
- Isle of Wight wave (moth) – 1931
- Large chequered skipper – c. 1989 (non-native, Channel Islands)
- Large copper – 1865
- Many-lined (moth) – 1875
- Map – c. 1914 (non-native)
- Mazarine blue – 1906
- Orache moth – 1915
- Reed tussock (moth) – 1875
- Scarce black arches (moth) – 1898 (transitory resident)
- Speckled beauty (moth) – 1898
- Union rustic (moth) – 1919
- Viper's bugloss (moth) –1969
Dragonflies and damselflies
† – Species is extinct worldwide
Reintroduction and re-establishment
The white-tailed eagle has been successfully re-established on the west coast of Scotland. Having clung on in parts of Wales, red kites have been successfully re-established in parts of England and Scotland. Ongoing projects involve both these species: the corncrake into parts of England and Scotland, and the great bustard on Salisbury Plain.
European beavers have been reintroduced to parts of Scotland, and there are plans to bring them back to other parts of Britain. A five-year trial reintroduction at Knapdale in Argyll started in 2009 and concluded in 2014. A few hundred beavers live wild in the Tay river basin, as a result of escapes from a wildlife park. A similar reintroduction trial is being undertaken on the river otter in Devon, England. In 2016, beavers were recognised as a British native species, and will be protected under law.
In 2008, moose were released into a fenced reserve on the Alladale Estate in the Highlands of Scotland. Reindeer were re-established in 1952; approximately 150–170 reindeer live around the Cairngorms region in Scotland.
In 1998, MAFF, now known as DEFRA released a report concerning the presence of two populations of wild boar living freely in the UK. These boar are thought to have escaped from wildlife parks, zoos and from farms where they are farmed for their meat, and gone on to establish breeding populations.
The northern clade pool frog was reintroduced from Swedish stock in 2005, to a single site in Norfolk, England, following detailed research to prove that it had been native prior to its extinction around 1993.
The large blue butterfly has been successfully re-established from Swedish stock at a number of sites, but few of these are open-access. There are also several successful cases of the establishment of new populations of heath fritillary.
- List of mammals of the British Isles
- Extinct animals from the Isle of Man
- List of extinct animals of Europe
- Introduced species of the British Isles
- Yalden, Derek (1999), History of British Mammals, London: T. & A.D. Poyser Ltd., ISBN 0-85661-110-7
- "The lost beasts that roamed Britain during the ice age". BBC. July 22, 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
- Bill Teale (2016-09-17). "Birdwatch: Rare appearance from Kentish plover". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Bumblebee superfacts, BugLife, retrieved January 23, 2013
- Waring, P.; et al. (2009), Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, Hook, Hampshire: British Wildlife Publishing, ISBN 0953139999; UK Moths, Ian Kimber https://ukmoths.org.uk/, retrieved January 23, 2013 Missing or empty
- Tilbury, Christine (March 2007), Gypsy Moth Advisory Note (PDF), Forest Research: Tree Health Division, retrieved 6 February 2014
- "Viper's Bugloss Hadena irregularis – UK Moths", UK Moths, Ian Kimber, retrieved January 23, 2013
- Gilbert Van Stappen (1996), "Artemia", in Patrick Lavens & Patrick Sorgeloos, Manual on the Production and Use of Live Food for Aquaculture, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper, 361, Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization, pp. 79–106, ISBN 978-92-5-103934-2
- Geoffrey Fryer (2006), "The brine shrimp's tale: a topsy turvy evolutionary fable" (PDF), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 88 (3): 377–382, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2006.00623.x
- George Monbiot. "15 species that should be brought back to rewild Britain". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "RSPB: Redkite Conservation".
- "The RSPB: Red kite". The RSPB. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Commissioned Report No. 685 The Scottish Beaver Trial: Ecological monitoring of the European beaver Castor fiber and other riparian mammals 2009-2014, final report" (PDF). Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "Tay Beavers Origin". Scottish Wild Beavers. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Feral wild boar in England Status, impact and management A report on behalf of Defra European Wildlife Division" (PDF). National Archives. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Archived from the original on 1 January 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- "Feral wild boar in England Status, impact and management A report on behalf of Defra European Wildlife Division" (PDF). Archived from the original on 1 January 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- "Wild Boar". The British Association for Shooting and Conservation. BASC. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- "Call for lynx and wolf reintroduction". BBC News. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
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