Do you know that several species of animals are extinct? Sadly saying, animal extinction is caused by human interference. Just mention poaching for animal tusks and habitat destruction are the main factors of animal extinction. Spend time reading about vulnerable animals in the world.
Here they are, the 6 incredible creatures that have been driven to extinction in the last century and a half. Let’s take a look at each amazing characteristics that are too great to miss.
- Yangtze River Dolphins
Dolphin, one of the smartest animals on earth also faces extinction. Yangtze River dolphins are also known as “baiji”. This species of dolphin was last seen in 2002.
“Baiji” itself means “white fin” in Chinese, and it means “white-finned dolphin”. This freshwater dolphin is also nicknamed as the Goddess of the Yangtze.
The Yangtze River dolphin population declined drastically as China industrialized and made the river heavily for fishing, transportation and hydroelectricity. Some efforts were made to conserve this dolphin species, but it failed. A late 2006 expedition failed to find any baiji in the river.
The main cause of extinction is human’s actions, such as fishing, pollution, habitat destruction, poaching and even boat traffic.
- Vietnamese Javan Rhinoceros
This rhino species was once spread widely in Southeast Asia. Compared to the Indian rhinoceros, the Javan rhinoceros is smaller. It is also known as the largest animal in Java and the second largest animal in Indonesia after elephant.
The Javan rhinoceros is known for its single horn and only the male that has horn. Get to know more about this animal by reading let’s get closer with Javanese rhino.
However, the population of this rhinoceros kept declining due to poaching for horns. The horns had been traded for more than 2,000 years in China and some local tribes in Vietnam also believed that the horn could be used to make an antidote for snake venom.
Loss of habitat is another factor of extinction. Agriculture played an important role in destructing the natural habitat of the Vietnamese Javan rhinoceros.
- Javan Tiger
Javan Tiger is originated from the Javan Island, Indonesia. In terms of its appearance, Javan tiger looks most similar to Sumatran tiger. Male Javan tiger weighed up to 310 pounds while the female was slightly lighter, it weighed about 250 pounds. Javan tigers had long and thin stripes, long and narrow nose along with the longest whiskers of any other subspecies.
Unfortunately, Javan tigers are thought to be extinct between 1950s and 1980s. One of the main factors is habitat destructions. Besides, they were also greatly hunted. Another factor of extinction was the loss of their main prey, which was deer due to disease.
Sadly saying, there is another species of tiger that is listed as one of the endangered animals of Southeast Asia, which is Sumatran tiger.
- Japanese Sea Lion
Japanese sea lion is an aquatic mammal which was extinct in 1970s. This species of sea lion is believed to be a subspecies of the related California sea lion.
Japanese sea lions mainly inhabited the Sea of Japan, especially around the coastal areas of the Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula.
In the 18th-century encyclopedia, it is described that the meat of Japanese sea lion was not tasty. Instead, they were used to render oil for oil lamps.
The valuable oil as extracted from the skin, and its internal organs were used to make oriental medicine which was really expensive. Besides, its whiskers and skin were also used as pipe cleaner s and leather goods.
Unfortunately, in 2007, there were some attempts done to bring back sea lions to the Sea of Japan that began with the search of any Japanese sea lions that might still be alive. However, they couldn’t be found.
- Syrian Elephant
The Syrian elephant or known as Western Asiatic elephant was the westernmost population of the Asian elephant. It became extinct in ancient times. The skeletal remains of this elephant have been recorded from the Middle East.
In terms of its physical appearance, Syrian elephants were known among the largest Asian elephant subspecies. They measured 3.5 meters.
Unfortunately, the extinction of this elephant happened due to overhunting of Syrian elephants for their ivory. It happened by around 100 BC.
- Bonin Thrush
Bonin thrush is also known as the Bonin islands thrush. It is a species of Asian thrush that has been extinct. This bird species was once found in Chichi-jima in the Ogasawara Islands, Japan.
This bird was once observed by a naturalist named Heinrich von Kittlitz. He found the thrush in the coastal woods where it usually kept to the ground where it may have been ground-nesting.
However, in 1827,the Beechey Pacific expedition couldn’t find this bird anymore. Instead finding this bird species, they found rats, feral goats, sheep, dogs and cats. The extinction of Bonin thrush was caused mainly by predation due to introduced mammals and habitat destruction.
Another species of thrush called song thrush is also known as one of the best singing birds in the world.