With climate change, deforestation and plastic pollution at the forefront of discussions nowadays (and rightly so), we thought we would bring you a little good news for a Monday. So here is a little insight into 5 species we thought were extinct which have come back and surprised us.
Unlike the dinosaurs, these animals are still very much alive
Formosan Clouded Leopard
The Formosan Leopard, considered extinct in 2013, was recently spotted by rangers in Taiwan. The last official sighting occurred in 1983, but rangers have now seen the elusive cat hunting goats on the island’s intricate cliffs. The leopard, a subspecies of the clouded leopard, was once endemic to Taiwan and was even the island’s second largest carnivore.
Horned Marsupial Frog
Just this week scientists in South America came across the frog, thought previously to be extinct. They didn’t even just find the one frog - but a whole colony of the Horned Marsupial as the made their way through the Chocó rainforest. Last seen in Ecuador in 2005, the creature’s natural habitat of the rainforest is currently at threat from deforestation. We hope this threat is eliminated before the frog becomes extinct as its unique pouch and horn-like skin above the eyes are quite the rarity.
- Fernandina Giant Tortoise
Disappearing more than 100 years ago, there is now hope that its population could return after a rare sighting on Fernandina - the youngest of the Galápagos Islands. The last confirmed sighting of the Fernandina Giant Tortoise was in 1906, and so was flagged by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as most likely extinct. But a team came across a female of the species, thought to be 100 years old, on the volcanic island and have since moved her to a breeding facility. We now just hope a male can be found soon and the species can be revived.
- New Guinea Highland Wild Dog
Not having been seen for over 50 years, scientists were surprised yet overjoyed to confirm a sighting of the New Guinea Wild Dog in 2017. And they didn’t just spy one. Amazingly, photographs managed to capture images of at least 15 dogs in a remote location in the Sudirman Mountains of Indonesia. The species, proven to be the most ancient living wild dog, was proven via DNA tests to be related to the Australian Dingos.
- Wallace’s Giant Bee
The size of an adult thumb, Wallace’s Giant Bee is the world’s largest bee and was feared extinct for 38 years. However a search team of North American and Australian biologists have since found a single female living in a termites’ nest on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas. First discovered in 1858 by British explorer and naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, it can measure nearly 4cm in length and has jaws like a stag beetle. Sadly, such impressive features make the creature a popular catch for collectors and, combined with deforestation, the species is still very much at risk of extinction.
We love bees at KCA. Especially when found on lovely sunflowers