Earth's Recently Extinct, Missing and Rediscovered Organisms




Most Recent Global Extinctions

The Thylacine Archive



This website attempts to document the world's many recently extinct (126ka–present), missing and rediscovered species and subspecies. An impossible task given that many of these have no doubt gone extinct without ever being recorded by science (termed "Dark extinctions"). While many others are so little known that there is scarcely anything to document now, and so in a secondary sense are lost as well. Luckily, it is possible for us to learn more about them through the discovery of (sub)fossil remains or (re)discovery of specimens in museums and private collections. This combined with increasingly sophisticated scientific methods of study, invariably driven by brilliant minds or technological advances, can help to recover these foregone species from the informational abyss.

Most importantly, this 'new' information can hopefully help rediscover them as living populations. Different species have different life histories, and no single method of attempted capture/documentation can succeed for the entire gamut of living species which inhabit vastly different environments from snowy alps to peat bogs, and have greatly variable lifespans, life stages, traits and ecological niches. Developing idiosyncratic capture methods greatly increases our chances of success, and potentially offers us an extremely rare second chance to save them from extinction.

We are in the midst of a global problem: an extinction rate far above abnormal. Built upon a foundation consisting of the innate vulnerability of populations, particularly those that are small or isolated, to fatal declines. A global structure erected by a single species of bidepal, furry, forward-looking but not forward thinking, ape. The inevitable loss of all biodiversity in a temporally distant supernova does not render the current biodiversity crisis any less anachronistic.

I have written a free eBook, 'What's Lost and What Remains: The Sixth Extinction in 100 Accounts'. I would be grateful to hear any feedback as I plan to release further free eBooks in the future.

You can now order our award-winning book, Thylacine: The History, Ecology and Loss of the Tasmanian Tiger, published by CSIRO Publishing, with all royalties strictly being donated to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. With 78 contributors, including 58 with a PhD, it is set to be the new definitive volume on the species for many years to come, and includes the last two pieces the late Col Bailey ever wrote on the thylacine among many others.