Recently Extinct Animals and Plants in North America
Listed in the table below are plants and animals that endangered species experts have confirmed or believe to be recently extinct. The list covers extinctions since 1960 of species, subspecies and populations in Canada and the continental United States.
|Last Seen||Common Name||Scientific Name||Former Range||Type|
|2007||Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit||Brachylagus idahoensis pop. 2||Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, Adams and Benton counties of Washington state||mammal|
|1994||Hadley Lake Limnetic Stickleback||Gasterosteus sp. 12||Hadley Lake on Lasqueti Island, British Columbia||fish|
|1994||Hadley Lake Benthic Stickleback||Gasterosteus sp. 13||Hadley Lake on Lasqueti Island, British Columbia||fish|
|1994||Pearson's Hawthorn||Crataegus pearsonii||Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas||plant|
|1992||Vancouver Island Wolverine||Gulo gulo vancouverensis||Vancouver Island, British Columbia||mammal|
|1988||Fish Lake Pyrg||Pyrgulopsis ruinosa||One spring in Esmeralda County, Nevada||mollusc|
|1988||Maryland Darter||Etheostoma sellare||Streams near the head of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland||fish|
|1988||Bachman's Warbler||Vermivora bachmanii||Nested in Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, and Louisiana; wintered in Cuba and Isle of Pines||bird|
|1987||Dusky Seaside Sparrow||Ammodramus maritimus nigrescens||East coast of Florida||bird|
|1986||Banff Longnose Dace||Rhinichthys cataractae smithi||A marsh fed by hot springs near Banff, Alberta||fish|
|1985||Shortnose Cisco||Coregonus reighardi||Lakes Huron, Michigan and Ontario||fish|
|1984||Green Blossom||Epioblasma torulosa gubernaculum||Tennessee and Virginia||mollusc|
|1983||San Marcos Gambusia||Gambusia georgei||San Marcos River, Texas||fish|
|1978||Kingman's Prickly-pear||Opuntia superbospina||Mojave Desert, Arizona||plant|
|late 1970s||Amistad Gambusia||Gambusia amistadensis||Goodenough Spring, Texas||fish|
|1975||Phantom Shiner||Notropis orca||Rio Grande River in New Mexico and Texas||fish|
|mid 1970s||Lewis's Woodpecker, Georgia Depression Population||Melanerpes lewis pop. 1||Southwestern British Columbia and western Washington state||bird|
|1974||Tacoma Pocket Gopher||Thomomys mazama tacomensis||Pierce County, Washington state||mammal|
|1973||Carinate Duckwater Pyrg||Pyrgulopsis carinata||Spring in Duckwater Valley, Nye County, Nevada||mollusc|
|1971||Santa Cruz Pupfish||Cyprinodon arcuatus||Monkey Spring in Arizona||fish|
|1971||Zion Jimmyweed||Isocoma humilis||Washington County, Utah||plant|
|1971||Blue Walleye||Sander vitreus glaucus||Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, lower Niagara River and Lake Huron||fish|
|1970s||Acornshell||Epioblasma haysiana||Cumberland and Tennessee River systems in Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky||mollusc|
|1970||Clear Lake Splittail||Pogonichthys ciscoides||Clear Lake, California||fish|
|1969||Blackfin Cisco||Coregonus nigripinnis||Lake Huron and Lake Michigan||fish|
|1969||Tubercled Blossom||Epioblasma torulosa torulosa||Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia||mollusc|
|1968||Striped Bass, St. Lawrence Estuary population||Morone saxatilis sp. 3||Quebec||fish|
|1967||Angled Riffleshell||Epioblasma biemarginata||Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee||mollusc|
|1967||Narrow Catspaw||Epioblasma lenior||Tennessee River system in Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama||mollusc|
|1967||Lined Pocketbook||Lampsilis binominata||Upper Chattahoochee and Flint River systems in Alabama and Georgia||mollusc|
|mid 1960s||Turgid Blossom||Epioblasma turgidula||Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee||mollusc|
|1964||Bluntnose Shiner||Notropis simus simus||Rio Grande River in New Mexico and Texas||fish|
|1964||Lake Ontario Kiyi||Coregonus kiyi orientalis||Ontario||fish|
|1964||Bay Springs Salamander||Plethodon ainsworthi||Jasper County, Mississippi||amphibian|
|1963||Eskimo Curlew||Numenius borealis||Nested in Northwest Territories, wintered in Argentina||bird|
This list of North American extinctions is not intended to be comprehensive.
Some recent extinctions are undoubtedly missing due to the incompleteness of available information. Not all tallies of scarce plants and animals are kept up-to-date or recorded in databases. For certain organisms, little documentation exists on their populations and ranges, particularly for invertebrates and nonvascular plants. As well, it may take several years of unsuccessful searching before scientists conclude that a species did indeed become extinct.
At times species have even been lost before they were ever known to science. For example, after whitefish in Dragon Lake, British Columbia were eradicated in 1956, it was discovered from preserved specimens that, not one, but two unique species of Coregonus had lived in the lake.
On the other hand, occasionally a species that was once feared extinct gets rediscovered decades later. The ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) is a recent and well-known case of stumbling upon a lost species. There are other such finds, including Utah's autumn buttercup (Ranunculus aestivalis) rediscovered in 1982 and the Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri) found again in 1987.
Further muddying any definitive list of extinctions are the disagreements among taxonomists as to whether a certain group of organisms is indeed a separate species or subspecies. New information can result in scientific classifications getting shifted around. The above list of recently extinct animals and plants is based upon information available as of September 2007.