Timeline of extinctions in the Holocene

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This timeline of extinctions is an historical account of species that have become extinct during the time that modern humans have occupied the earth.

The following is a selective list made by sampling a very small proportion of some of the well-known extinct species in the recent history. For a more elaborate list see List of extinct animals. Also see Holocene extinction for more information.

10th millennium BC[edit]

9th millennium BC[edit]

8th millennium BC[edit]

7th millennium BC[edit]

6th millennium BC[edit]

5th millennium BC[edit]

4th millennium BC[edit]

3rd millennium BC[edit]

Cape lion

2nd millennium BC[edit]

1st millennium BC[edit]

1st millennium AD[edit]

2nd millennium AD[edit]

11th century[edit]

  • c. 1000 - Extinction of four species of moa-nalo on the Hawaiian Islands. The moa-nalo were large ducks and the island's major herbivores.[7]

14th century[edit]

15th century[edit]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

  • 1627 - The last known aurochs died in Poland. This large wild cattle formerly inhabited much of Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and India.[9]
  • c. 1660 - The giant vampire bat survived in Argentina until about this time.[4]
  • 1662 - The last definite sighting of a Mauritius dodo was made.[5] The extinction was due to hunting, but also by the pigs, rats, dogs and cats brought to the island by settlers. The species has become an iconic symbol of animal extinction.[10]
    The moa was one of the largest birds that ever existed.
  • The elephant bird Aepyornis maximus was last recorded around the end of the 17th century.[8]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]


20th century[edit]


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  • 1910 - The Usambara annone from Tanzania no longer grows in the tropical forests.
  • 1911 - The last Newfoundland wolf was shot.[16]
  • 1914 - The last passenger pigeon died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo. Excessive hunting contributed to its extinction; it was formerly one of the world's most abundant birds.[20]
  • 1918 - The last Carolina parakeet died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo. The bird, formerly inhabiting the southeastern United States, was driven to extinction by exploitation, deforestation, and competition with introduced bees.[21]
The thylacine was exterminated into extinction.



The great auk was hunted for its down until its extinction around 1844.







3rd millennium AD[edit]

21st century[edit]


  • 2000 - "Celia", the last Pyrenean ibex, was found dead on 6 January 2000. However, in 2009, a female was cloned back into existence, but died shortly after birth due to defects in the lungs.
  • 2003 - The last individual from the St. Helena olive, which was grown in cultivation, dies off. The last plant in the wild had disappeared in 1994.[citation needed]
  • 2006 - A technologically sophisticated survey of the Yangtze River failed to find specimens of the baiji dolphin, prompting scientists to declare it functionally extinct.[29]
  • 2008 - The Liverpool pigeon (Caloenas maculata) is thought to have become extinct.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Haynes, Gary (2009). American megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene. Springer. pp. 27–31, 133, 152–53, 172. ISBN 1-4020-8792-6. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kurtén, Björn; Anderson, Elaine (1980). Pleistocene mammals of North America. Columbia University Press. pp. 364–65. ISBN 0-231-03733-3. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Martin, Paul S.; Klein, Richard G. (1989). Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution. University of Arizona Press. pp. 52–55, 64–65, 76, 82, 85. ISBN 0-231-03733-3. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au Turvey, Sam (2009). Holocene extinctions. Oxford University Press. pp. 20–33, 42–50, 352. ISBN 0-19-953509-4. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d Adams, Jonathan; Adams, Jonathan S. (2009). Species richness: patterns in the diversity of life. Springer. pp. 239–55. ISBN 3-540-74277-8. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  6. ^ MacPhee, R.D. E. (1999). Extinctions in near time: causes, contexts, and consequences. Springer. pp. 19–28, 394. ISBN 0-306-46092-0. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Wylie, Robin (June 25, 2015). "Hawaii: The islands where evolution ran riot". BBC. 
  8. ^ a b Hume, Julian P.; Walters, Michael (2012). Extinct Birds. A&C Black. pp. 24, 59, 320. ISBN 1-4081-5862-0. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Tikhonov, A. 2008. "Bos primigenius", iucnredlist.org; downloaded 9 October 2011.
  10. ^ Raphus cucullatus at the Recently Extinct Animals website
  11. ^ Domning, D., Anderson, P.K. & Turvey, S. (2008). "Hydrodamalis gigas". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  12. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Prosobonia leucoptera (Tahitian Sandpiper)", iucnredlist.org; retrieved 29 February 2012.
  13. ^ IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). "Hippotragus leucophaeus (Bluebuck, Blue Buck)", iucnredlist.org; retrieved 29 February 2012.
  14. ^ BirdLife International (2008). "Pinguinus impennis (Great Auk)", iucnredlist.org; retrieved 29 February 2012.
  15. ^ "Ursus arctos crowtheri". Prehistoric Wildlife. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Wolves, wolfhowl.org; accessed 27 April 2016.
  17. ^ "The Mysterious Disappearance of the Rocky Mountain Locust". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "The Honshu Wolf". bib.ge. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  19. ^ Bunzel-Drüke, Finck, Kämmer, Luick, Reisinger, Riecken, Riedl, Scharf & Zimball: "Wilde Weiden: Praxisleitfaden für Ganzjahresbeweidung in Naturschutz und Landschaftsentwicklung
  20. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Ectopistes migratorius". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  21. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Conuropsis carolinensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Grizzly Bear". Valley Center History Museum. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  23. ^ Tirira, D., Dowler, R., Boada, C. & Weksler, M. (2008). "Nesoryzomys darwini", iucnredlist.org; retrieved 10 October 2011.
  24. ^ M. McKnight (2008). "Thylacinus cynocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  25. ^ "Examining the Extinction of the Barbary Lion and Its Implications for Felid Conservation". PLOS ONE. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "Three American mussel species become extinct". mongabay.com. 10 August 2008. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  27. ^ "Zalophus californianus japonicus (CR)". Japanese Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  28. ^ Hance, Jeremy (3 December 2009). "Extinctions on the rise in the Galapagos: fishing and global warming devastating islands' species". mongabay.com. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  29. ^ "Lipotes vexillifer". IUCN Red List. February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  30. ^ "Eastern cougar declared extinct, confirming decades of suspicion". CNN. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  31. ^ Boettcher, Daniel. "Western black rhino declared extinct". BBC. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  32. ^ "Lonesome George". Galapagos Conservancy. 
  33. ^ "Clouded leopards declared extinct in Taiwan". Tree Hugger. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  34. ^ "Eastern Cougar extinct, no longer needs protection, says US conservation agency". The Guardian. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.