Seven Extinct Animals That Are No Longer Extinct

Registering extinct species is an unreliable procedure. There is a list of 7 cases where it has failed. These are shown in this article.

Seven Extinct Animals That Are No Longer Extinct

In this blog, animals from “The Book of Lists” were once already discussed. At that time, they were the oldest living species. This time, the continuation of the book, “The Book of Lists 2” [1] will offer food for new thought. It contains a list of seven animals that were once considered extinct, but alive again in the 1980. Have they become extinct one more time over the 44 years since the book was released?

So, the list:

  1. Cahow belongs to the Procellariidae family. It was believed that these birds had not existed since 1615, as they were eaten by starving British colonists on the Bermuda Islands. This continued until January 8, 1951, when the bird was rediscovered by Bermuda’s conservation officer David Wingate. Since then, the bird population has been slowly recovering.
  2. Dibbler was listed as extinct in 1884. The species returned to life in 1967 when an Australian naturalist tried to catch a pair of live honey possums but caught a couple of these instead. They are still alive today.
  3. Dwarf lemur has been considered extinct since 1875. In 1966, one was found near the town of Mananara in Madagascar. Today, there are known to be ten subspecies of these lemurs.
  4. Mountain Pygmy Possum was long believed to have been extinct for about 20,000 years. However, in 1966, one was found by Dr. Kenneth Shortman in the kitchen of his skiing lodge, Mount Hothan, in Southeast Australia. So far, 1966 leads in terms of species returns!
  5. Tarpan, a subspecies of wild horse, was extinct both at the time of “The Book of Lists' 2” release and now. How did it make to this list then? In the early 20th century, the tarpan was recreated by brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck, curators of the Berlin and Munich zoos, respectively. They crossbred horses of various breeds until they produced one that closely resembled the tarpan. The horses bred in this way exist today.
  6. Aurochs, an ancient wild bull that disappeared in 1627. Its story is similar to that of the tarpan, but with one distinctive detail: “Aurochs: How Hitler and Goering resurrected extinct species to make 'Nazi super cows'”. Attempts to 'resurrect' the Tarpan were also part of this program. It is difficult to say whether the Aurochs can be considered non-extinct now. Creating an indistinguishable animal from the Aurochs failed, and some projects dedicated to this still exist today.
  7. White-winged guan, a South American bird that feeds on flowers, was considered extinct for a century until it was seen in September 1977. An American ornithologist and his Peruvian associate located four of the pheasant-sized birds in remote northwestern Peru. These birds still exist today, with about 200 individuals, and the population is stable.

It's surprising, of course, that what was fragile 44 years ago still exists today. Perhaps this is because the return of a species to life creates a certain excitement and concentrates people's efforts on trying to preserve it.

List of references:
[1] Irving Wallace, David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace, Sylvia Wallace, “The Book of Lists 2”, ISBN 0-241-10433-5