Endangered Species Handbook

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It's Too Late

THE GEOGRAPHY OF EXTINCTION (chart)

1600 to present
 

Number of Species Extinct

Islands Birds Mammals Reptiles Amphibians Total
Atlantic Islands          
  Ascension I. 1       1
  Canary Is. 1   1   2
  Cape Verde Is.     1   1
  Falkland Islands   1     1
  Gull Island (Off NY, USA)   1     1
  Iceland, Funt I. (Canada) 1       1
  St. Helena 7       7

Subtotals

10 2 2   14
Caribbean          
  Barbuda   2     2
  Barbados   1     1
  Bahamas 1       1
  Caribbean region 2 1     3
  Cayman Is. 1 1     2
  Cuba 1 7     8
  Guadeloupe 2   1   3
  Hispaniola (Haiti & Domnican Republic) 1 15     16
  Jamaica 4 2 2   8
  Martinique 1 2 3   6
  Navassa I.     1   1
  Puerto Rico   6     6
  St Croix (Virgin Is.)     1   1
  St Lucia   2 1   3
  St Vincent   1     1

Subtotals

13 40 9   62
Indian Ocean Islands          
  Amsterdam Island 1       1
  Christmas Island   3     3
  Madagascar 2 1     3
  Mascarene Is. 31 1 13   45
  Seychelles 2   1   3

Subtotals

36 5 14   55
Mediterranean          
  Sardinia   1     1

Subtotal

  1     1
Pacific Islands          
  Auckland I. 1       1
  Bering I. region 1 1     2
  Bonin Is. 3 1     4
  Caroline Is. 3       3
  Chatham Is. 5       5
  Fiji Is.     1   1
  Galapagos Is.   7     7
  Guadalupe I. 2       2
  Guam 1 1     2
  Hawaiian Is. 21       21
  Lord Howe & Norfolk Is. 6       6
  Kangaroo I. (Australia) 1       1
  Marquesas 1       1
  New Caledonia 4       4
  New Zealand 14 1 1   16
  Okinawa   1     1
  Pacific region 1       1
  Palau   1     1
  Philippines   3     3
  Ryukyu Is. 1       1
  Samoan Is. 1       1
  Santa Cruz Is.   1     1
  Society Is. 7       7
  Solomon Is. 1       1
  Tonga Is. 1       1
  Vanuatu 1       1
  Wake I. 1       1

Subtotal

77 17 2   96
Asia          
  Indonesia 1       1

Subtotal

1       1

Island Totals

137 65 27   229
Mainlands          
Africa   5 1   6
Asia 2 1     3
Australia 2 22     24
Europe & Near East   2   1 3
Mexico & Central America 3 4   4 11
North America 3 1   1 5
South America 10       10

Mainland Totals

20 35 1 6 62
Source:  Table of Extinct Species in the Appendix of this book.  Sources of information are listed with the table.

Note: See the Appendix for the list of these species in chronological order, and the references that describe these animals and their extinctions, as well as those that include illustrations of the extinct species.


The following account chronicles some of the many extinctions and destructions of natural ecosystems that have taken place in North America over the past few hundred years.  Great biological treasures have been stolen from future generations, and the processes by which they were lost are typical of those occurring elsewhere in the world.  The sudden loss of the most abundant and prominent wildlife species of the continent created a profound shock in the public early in the century that set the stage for today's conservation and humane programs.  This concern may turn the tide for species that could suffer the fate of the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) and others, but unless public opinion is better translated into public policy regarding the land and wildlife, further losses will occur and the lessons that might have been learned will be ignored.  A strong and pragmatic commitment to preserve what remains of the natural world on the continent, based on a realization that our fate is linked to nature's fate, is essential to prevent further extinctions. 


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