There are many news that made the headlines in the year we left behind, and unfortunately, many others that never made it, or were simply ‘forgotten.’
With the new year upon us, it’s time to look back in the past and reflect on all the things we did wrong or somehow failed to take care of, starting with being a little more compassionate towards animals and the world around us.
According to IFL Science, a great number of species went extinct in 2018, species which unfortunately won’t be replaced, thus leaving a massive void in the wild.
The past year saw the extinction of many species, starting with Spix’s Macaw, also known as the blue parrot portrayed in the animated movie Rio. The macaw was declared ‘extinct in the wild’ in September, the last time it was seen in the wild.
Researchers expressed their concern over the extinction crisis, and the number of confirmed or likely bird extinction has increased up to 187 since the year 1500, according to ABC News’ report.
On the list of species which went extinct last year, compiled by IFL Science, were also Alagoas Foliage-gleaner, cryptic tree hunter, and poo-uli — thus moving from the ‘critically endangered’ list to ‘extinct’ on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.
BirdLife International conducted a report in which they found that the probability for these species to survive was just 0.1.
Stuart Butchart, Chief Scientist at BirdLife International, previously told IFL Science:
Human activities are the ultimate drivers of virtually all recent extinctions. It is certainly the case that the rate of extinctions on continents is higher than ever before. And that the rate will continue to increase without concerted conservation efforts.
In 2018, Eastern puma was officially declared extinct as well. The news was announced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in January, taking off the animals from the list of endangered species one last time.
Eastern cougar or eastern puma, are the genetic cousin of mountain lions which still live on the most parts of Western United States, and are related to a small, endangered population of panthers in Florida, found only in the Everglades.
These exquisite creatures once were the most widely distributed land mammal in the Western Hemisphere, and were about eight feet long from head to tail, weighing as much as 63,5 kg.
But just like with everything else, humans happened, and because of habitat destruction as well as an extermination campaign, the species are now extinct. The last of their kind was reportedly killed by a hunter in Maine, in 1938.
In addition to these, the last male northern white rhino died in March, leaving only two females in the world, meaning the species will be soon extinct. From over 2,000 of its kind in the world in 1960, only 15 were left by the year 1984 because of poaching.
Thanks to human industry, the Tapanuli orangutan is also on the brink of extinction, and the species were only recently found in 2017.
On the list of species facing extinction are also Chinese giant salamanders, as well as many of the world’s most unique rays and sharks, which according to IFL Science, so far they have managed to survive for more than 250 million years.