Recently Extinct Animals and Plants in North America

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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.

Recently extinct species in Canada and continental US.
Last Seen Common Name Scientific Name Former Range Type
2007Columbia Basin Pygmy RabbitBrachylagus idahoensis pop. 2Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, Adams and Benton counties of Washington statemammal
1994Hadley Lake Limnetic SticklebackGasterosteus sp. 12Hadley Lake on Lasqueti Island, British Columbiafish
1994 Hadley Lake Benthic Stickleback Gasterosteus sp. 13 Hadley Lake on Lasqueti Island, British Columbia fish
1994Pearson's HawthornCrataegus pearsoniiMississippi, Louisiana and Texasplant
1992Vancouver Island WolverineGulo gulo vancouverensisVancouver Island, British Columbiamammal
1988Fish Lake PyrgPyrgulopsis ruinosaOne spring in Esmeralda County, Nevadamollusc
1988Maryland DarterEtheostoma sellareStreams near the head of Chesapeake Bay in Marylandfish
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.

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