Here's All The Incredible Species That Went Extinct In 2018
In a year where arguably more people became aware of the damage humans are doing to the environment by using palm oil and single use plastics we were unable to stop some amazing species becoming extinct.
Two subspecies of giraffe were listed as 'critically endangered' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the end of 2018 and sadly the bad news doesn't end there.
Extinctions are currently happening 1000 to 10,000 times faster than the expected and natural rate of deaths.
In 2018, scientists announced revealed that three bird species had vanished for good, and that there are more species on the brink that could disappear forever in 2019.
The current extinction crisis is almost solely caused by human, specifically activities by humans that cause loss of habitat, introduce alien species and contribute to the changing climate.
According to Bird Life, Hawaii's insect-eating forest-bird the Poʻouli, is now extinct. As well as two Brazilian songbirds, the Cryptic Treehunter and the Alagoas Foliage-gleaner.
The Po'ouli saw a decline driven by invasive alien species, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, their habitat was destroyed by feral pigs and they were hunted by mongooses.
For the Brazilian songbirds, the last sighting of the Cryptic Treehunter was in 2007, and the Alagoas Foliage-gleaner was last seen in 2011.
One of the most famous birds to be declared extinct in 2018 was the Spix's Macaw, a blue parrot found in Brazil that shot to fame after the release of Rio in 2011.
The vibrant bird died out in the wild due to a creation of a dam, being trapped for trade and deforestation, but an estimated 60 to 80 still live in captivity.
Stuart Butchart, Chief Scientist at BirdLife International, 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."
2018 also saw the Eastern Puma being declared extinct in January by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, they were removed from the list of endangered species for the final time.
The Eastern Puma are the genetic cousin of mountain lions, which still inhabit much of the Western United States. They amazingly measured up to 8 feet long from head to tail and could weigh as much as 140 pounds (63.5 kg).
Most Eastern Cougars disappeared in the 1800s, and were killed out of fear for human and livestock safety.
They were also victims of massive deforestation and over-harvesting of white-tailed deer, the cougar's primary prey.
Despite not officially being declared as extinct there are some species that are extremely close to disappearing in 2019.
Sudan, the last remaining male northern white rhino, died at the age of 45 in March 2018. After he passed the total number remaining northern white rhinos dropped to just two.
Both of them are female and incapable of natural reproduction, according to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation the population's decline was caused by extensive poaching for their horns.
There are currently less that 30 Vaquita's in the world, which are the world's rarest marine mammal and calls the northern Gulf of California home.
The decline in their population is largely due to being caught and drowned in illegal gillnet fishing equipment.
If you want to help endangered animals and prevent the list of extinct species getting bigger in 2019 the WWF has plenty of information on what you can do.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images