267 Species Extinct


Mapped here is data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, 2004. "The IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria are intended to be an easily and widely understood system for classifying species at high risk of global extinction."

The map shows where animal and plant species that have become extinct recently lived, which were extinct everywhere by 2004. Extinction, is defined by the data source as: "A taxon [species or subspecies] is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. A taxon is presumed Extinct when exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitat, at appropriate times (diurnal, seasonal, annual), throughout its historic range have failed to record an individual. Surveys should be over a time frame appropriate to the taxon's life cycle and life form. The starting date for the inclusion of extinctions was previously set at 1600 AD, but this has been moved back to 1500 AD to be in line with the starting date used by the Committee on Recently Extinct Organisms." Globally 698 animal species and 85 plant species were recorded as recently extinct in 2006. Our higher world totals of 815 animal species and 86 plant species when all islands are included is due to the same species being counted in more than one territory. In the 2004 data, a species was not recorded as locally extinct if it is not also globally extinct.

Animals assessed as extinct include "70 Mammalia (mammals), 135 Aves (birds), 22 Reptilia (reptiles), 34 Amphibia (amphibians), 0 Cephalaspidomorphi (lampreys and hag fish), 0 Chondrichthyes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras), 80 Actinopterygii (bony fishes), 0 Sarcopterygii (coelacanth), 0 Echinoidea (sea urchins, starfish, etc), 0 Arachnida (spiders and scorpions), 0 Chilopoda (centipedes), 0 Diplopoda (millipedes), 7 Crustacea (crustaceans), 59 Insecta (insects), 0 Merostomata (horseshoe crabs), 0 Onychophora (velvet worms), 0 Hirudinoidea (leeches), 1 Oligochaeta (earthworms), 0 Polychaeta (marine bristle worms), 31 Bivalvia (mussels and clams), 258 Gastropoda (snails, etc), 0 Enopla (nemertine worms), 1 Turbellaria (flatworms), 0 Anthozoa (sea anemones and corals)." Adapted from IUCN table 3a.

Plants assessed as extinct include "2 Bryopsida (true mosses), 0 Anthocerotopsida (hornworts), 1 Marchantiopsida (liverworts), 0 Lycopodiopsida (club mosses), 0 Sellaginellopsida (spike mosses), 0 Isoetopsida (quillworts), 3 Polypodiopsida (true ferns), 0 Coniferopsida (conifers), 0 Cycadopsida (cycads), 0 Ginkgoopsida (ginkgo), 77 Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons), 2 Liliopsida (monocotyledons), [plus other groups now not included in the plant kingdom]: 0 Basidiomycetes (club fungi), 0 Lecanoromycetes (discolichens), 0 Rhodophyceae (red algae)." Adapted from IUCN table 3b.

Conifers, cycads and gingko are all gymnosperms where the seeds develop in a cone. They include plants and trees.

Angiosperms are dicotyledons and monocotyledons, together known as "flowering plants" have seeds inside an ovary, which can remain small or become a fruit or nut. They include grasses, plants and trees.

Micro-organisms are not included.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources definition of extinction can be sourced from this page:


Data sources

The source of this data is the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), 2006, Red List of threatened species 2004. Tables 5, 6a and 6b.

The IUCN Red List is a system for classifying species at high risk of global extinction. It provides a consistent system for classifying all animal and plant species, lichen and mushrooms (fungi). It does not include micro-organisms. It can occasionally include some lower taxonomic levels or subspecies. Members of a species usually cannot produce fertile offspring with members of a different species. Subspecies can within the species, but are distinctive, usually geographically separated, populations of the species.

All species are categorized as:

Extinct (EX)

Extinct in the Wild (EW)

Critically Endangered (CR)

Endangered (EN)

Vulnerable (VU)

Lower risk / conservation dependent (LR/cd)

Near Threatened (NT)

Least Concern (LC)

Data Deficient (DD)

Not Evaluated (NE)

Threatened Species are those classed as (CR), (EN) and (VU).

Lower Risk are those classed as (LR/cd) and (NT).

Data Deficient are species were there is insufficient data. "Data Deficient is therefore not a category of threat. Listing of taxa [species or subspecies] in this category indicates that more information is required and acknowledges the possibility that future research will show that threatened classification is appropriate."

Not evaluated are all other animal, plant, lichen and mushroom species known to exist recently, but not evaluated.

Globally assessed includes species in all categories except not evaluated. Globally assessed were 41% of 58,808 vertebrate species, 0.3% of 1,190,200 invertebrate species, 4% of 287,655 plant species and 0.01% of 26,000 lichen and mushroom species.

Local species assessed only includes species known to exist in the wild in that territory, and does not include species that have not been assessed for Red List criteria. The numbers of local plant and animal species assessed (also called "all species") and appearing thoughout the "destruction" category, are always the same numbers, and are used consistently as the denominators for local rates.

Data was provided for all the territories we do map, and so we did not have to make any estimates for missing data. The Red List also includes data for 37 small islands that are not treated separately in our mapping. This data is not mapped, but details are given in separately in the source data sheet with the 9 territories their data is normally assigned to by us.

Our territorial, regional and world totals are all proportional to their areas on the map. A species can be counted twice because of existing in more than one territory. It can also be assessed as locally at risk in a territory, even if at a regional or global level it is not. Due to this double counting, our regional and world totals are therefore higher than Red List regional or global assessments. The source data sheet gives a guide to Red List global assessment numbers compared with the world totals you get by summing territorial assessment figures, which there include the island data we have not mapped. By 2006 Red List assessments covered 40,168 species. This compares with a total (including islands not mapped) of 175,561 local species assessments in 2004. On average species assessed were native to 4.2 territories in 2004: but that average would be much higher for species of least concern, and lower for globally threatened species. Our regional and world figures are not equivalent to territorial figures at a regional or global level of assessment. They are useful only if understood as counts of territorial assessments, not species numbers. Only at territorial level does one assessment necessarily equal one species. Regional rates tell you whether local territory assessments there are more or less likely to include assessments of a particular type compared with the world average rate.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources definitions of Red List categories can be sourced from this page:


Click here to view detailed data source references

The quote used on to accompany this map is from Anil Ananthaswamy. Ananthaswamy wrote an article entitled ‘Earth faces sixth mass extinction’ for the New Scientist, published on 18 th March 2004 . The longer section from which the quote was sourced reads as follows: “The crisis could be foreshadowing a sixth mass extinction, warn the researchers. Life on Earth has already seen five mass extinctions in its four billion year old history. The last one, which wiped out the dinosaurs, happened 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period and was possibly caused by a giant meteor collision.

The current extinction is being precipitated by the widespread loss of habitats because of human activity, according to Tefler. The remaining habitats are small and fragmented, and their quality has been degraded because of pollution.” The quote was sourced in December, 2006, from the website below:


Excel Sheets

Below is an explanation of each of the columns in the excel file:

Column A = Unique numerical territory (see 001).

Column B = Region and territory names (see 001).

Column C = Region code (see 001).

Column D = The ISO 3 code, or ISO ALPHA-3 (see 001).

Column E = Number of animal and plant species assessed that lived there recently, now extinct worldwide, 2004. From Source Data (Column H).

Column F = Animal and plant species extinct by 2004 per 1000 local species assessed. This is calculated by dividing the number of animal and plant species that were extinct in 2004 (Column H) by the count of all species in that territory (Column G) multiplied by 1000 so that the rate per 1000 is given. (F =1000 * H / G).

Column G = Number of local plant and animal species assessed by 2004. This is calculated by adding the count of animal species and plant species together. The data for this can be found on the source data sheet.

Column H = Number of animal and plant species assessed that lived in the territory recently, now extinct worldwide, 2004. This is taken from the source data sheet.