6. Passenger Pigeon.
During the 19th century, Passenger Pigeons were the most abundant birds in North America and possibly the world. The bird was victimized by humans who hunted them out of existence by 1914. The pigeons were known for their extraordinary ability to fly. They were capable of flying up to 62 mph and the last wild bird was shot dead in 1901. A few managed to survive in the wild but deforestation and scarce food led to their extinction.
7. Golden Toad.
The Golden Toad was a small true toad (member of the family Bufonidae) which was abundant in the high altitude regions of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Scientists were only able to study the species for a small period of time, since the time of their discovery to their time of extinction was short. The 2″ long toads were first sighted in a 30 square mile area of the cloud forest in 1989. Scientists are not sure of the reason behind their extinction but many believe that habitat loss, chytrid fungus, as well as sudden changes in weather played a key role in their doom.
8. Western Black Rhino.
Rhinos have always been a target of poachers for their horns. The Western Black Rhino is a perfect example of how humanity can hunt a species to extinction. What was once abundant and roaming the forests of Africa, was declared extinct by 2001. Since the 1930’s, humanitarian groups and organizations had tried their best to preserve the species from the brink of extinction. Their efforts paid off and the species was growing in numbers before poaching soared again. By the beginning of the 21st century, only 10 of them remained and by 2006, all of them had fallen victim to poaching.
9. Caspian Tiger.
What was once known to be the largest cat species to ever exist, is only alive through pictures today. The Caspian Tiger lived on the shores of the Black Sea to those of the Caspian sea. The species were hunted into extinction during the beginning of the 19th century. When the Russians began colonizing Turkestan, the extinction route was paved for the Caspian Tigers. Several confirmed sightings of the species were found across Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan until the 1990’s.
10. Pinta Island Tortoise.
The most recent largest animal to be declared extinct is none other than the Pinta Island Tortoise. The subspecies of the Galápagos tortoise started to become extinct by the end of the 19th century. Thought to already be extinct, a few were spotted during the 20th century. In 1971, George (shown above), a 100+ year old male who was dubbed as the Lonesome George, was discovered. Sadly, George died on June 24, 2012, after suffering heart failure. It was not just George that died that day, an entire species went away with him.