Recently Extinct Animals

These animal species disappeared or believed to be extinct in recent times due to human activities

When extinct

The quagga is an extinct subspecies of the Plains zebra. It was native to South Africa until it was hunted to extinction in the late 19th century by European settler-colonists. Little is known about the quagga's behavior, but it may have gathered into herds of 30-50 individuals. Quaggas were said to be wild and lively, yet were also considered docile. After the European settlement of South Africa began, the quagga was extensively hunted, as it ...
competed with domesticated animals for forage. Some were taken to zoos in Europe, but breeding programs were unsuccessful. The last wild population lived in the Orange Free State in South Africa; the quagga was extinct in the wild by 1878. The last captive animal died in Amsterdam on 12 August 1883.
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Great Auk
When extinct

The Great auk is a flightless bird that became extinct in the mid-19th century. It is not closely related to the birds now known as penguins, which were discovered later and so named by sailors because of their physical resemblance to the Great auk. Great auks were powerful swimmers but clumsy on land. They formed pairs for life and bred in colonies on rocky, isolated islands with easy access to the ocean and a plentiful food supply. When not ...
breeding, they spent their time foraging in the waters of the North Atlantic. The Great auk was an important part of many Native American cultures, both as a food source and as a symbolic item. Its down was in high demand in Europe, and European museums and private collectors were heavily obtaining skins and eggs of the bird. On 3 June 1844, the last Great auk pair was killed on Eldey, off the coast of Iceland, ending the last known breeding attempt. A record of one Great auk in 1852 is considered to be the last sighting of a member of the species.
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Sea Mink
When extinct

The Sea mink is a recently extinct species of mink that lived on the eastern coast of North America around the Gulf of Maine on the New England seaboard. It was most closely related to the American mink. The Sea mink was first described in 1903, after its extinction. According to fur traders and Native Americans the Sea mink may have exhibited behavior similar to the American mink, in that it probably maintained home ranges, had same mating ...
habits, and had a similar diet, though more seaward-oriented. According to fur traders, Sea minks were nocturnal and rested in caves and rock crevices during the day. Although not a truly marine species, being confined to coastal waters, Sea minks were unusually aquatic. Due to their large size Sea minks were more desirable to fur traders than other mink species and the unregulated fur trade eventually led to their extinction; this is thought to have occurred between 1860 and 1920.
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