Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, Among 22 New Species Declared Officially Extinct

Extinct is forever. 

That’s the obvious takeaway from today’s announcement from the US Department of Fish and Wildlife, which announced 22 new species that are officially extinct, never to be seen alive again.

Among the most prominent is the Ivory-billed woodpecker, a large and charismatic bird, that people claimed to still spot in the marshlands of Arkansas and Louisiana. It’s now officially gone for good.

The list may seem obscure and insignificant to the casual observer, with a number of species of birds and mollusks that aren’t easily recognizable.  But the pace and volume of extinct and endangered species is so great, it’s impossible to not be concerned. The more diversity the earth loses, the more strain gets put on the entire ecosystem.

Below are some images of the animals that were named to the recent extinction list, which has a 30 day comment period.

Via The AP and NY Times:

“Around the globe, some 902 species have been documented as extinct. The actual number is thought to be much higher because some are never formally identified, and many scientists warn the earth is in an “extinction crisis” with flora and fauna now disappearing at 1,000 times the historical rate.”

   – AP

The San Marcos gambusia joins the list of extinct species.

A number of mollusk species also joins the list of official extinctions

The Maui nukupuʻu has not been documented since 1996. This preserved specimen was collected a century earlier.

Ivory-billed woodpeckers filmed in Louisiana in 1935, when the birds were already rare. Despite pleas from conservationists and wildlife officials, the area was later logged by the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company.

A Kauai O’o filmed some time in the 1970s or ’80s.