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An animal species is considered extinct when there is no specimen or specimen of that species on the planet. So, there have been numerous extinctions throughout history and, to this day, they still continue to be added to the list of extinct animal species from around the world, including species native to Spain. Do you know what are some of the species that have they disappeared from the area of this country?
At Ecologist Verde, we give you information and a list of recently extinct animals in Spain. Also, you will be able to see some images of some of these disappeared species.
Is the extinction of animals a problem?
Extinction is a natural process, on which the theory of evolution is based. On many occasions, species disappear to give rise to other new species that are more evolved and adapted to the current environment. In fact, there have been cases of extinctions practically throughout history, such as the well-known extinction of the dinosaurs, in the Cretaceous, due to the collision of a meteorite, or previous ones, such as that produced in the Ordovician due to from a sudden cooling (ice age) that occurred on Earth.
However, at present, the extinction of the species occurs at a much faster pace, mainly due to the human activity and causing a worrying loss of biodiversity. Thus, extinction in a natural way is not a problem for the planet, but a necessary natural process, but in recent times we are turning it into a problem because we cause its acceleration.
In the image below we can see a monk seal, included in this list of recently extinct animals in Spain, as we will see later.
Main causes of the extinction of animals in Spain and the world
These are the main causes of animal extinction, both in Spain and in the rest of the world, which does not mean that there are not more.
- Destruction of their habitat: habitats undergo changes over time in a natural, progressive and gradual way, with hardly any type of impact. However, when these changes occur abruptly, they cause impacts and damage to the environment that alter animal populations. Generally, these abrupt changes are the result of human activities such as indiscriminate logging or the development of livestock and agricultural activities.
- Illegal hunting: illegal or poaching for commercial purposes directly affects the subsistence of many species. This is the case, for example, of hunting rhinoceros or elephants, pursued for the interest and value of their horns and tusks, respectively.
- The introduction of exotic species: the introduction of a new species into a habitat can produce changes in the environment, through competition for resources or even the predation of other species, thus causing their extinction. The introduction of new species is due to the human being, either intentionally, to avoid some environmental problems such as pests or due to the interest in the development of leisure activities such as hunting, or in an accidental way, as occurs in the case of exotic pet species that escape and invade other environments.
- Pollution: the use of chemical products such as fertilizers or insecticides, the emission of gases and discharges and the accumulation of residues as a consequence of human activities causes the death of many species. In addition, pollution also contributes to climate change and, therefore, to an increase in the earth's temperature, causing difficulties in the survival of many species. In this other Green Ecologist article we tell you all about how pollution affects the environment.
List of recently extinct animals in Spain
This is one list of recently extinct animals in Spain And, although we include some species from a while ago, we are indicating some of the species that have disappeared in the last two centuries.
- Giant Alca: large bird, similar to a penguin, without the ability to fly but swim and dive. Extinct in 1852 due to indiscriminate hunting for the interest in both its meat and its eggs.
- Lusitanian goat: it was a subspecies of mountain goat. Extinct in 1892, due to hunting for its meat, skin and a substance with medicinal properties that was found in its stomach. In the photo below this section you can see a specimen of this extinct species.
- Monk seal: It was a close relative of the Mediterranean and Hawaiian seals, both of which are also threatened. Extinct in 1950 due to its abusive persecution and hunting to obtain its meat, considered a delicacy and its skin, with which a great variety of articles and clothing were manufactured. In this other Green Ecologist article you can learn more about the Seals in danger of extinction.
- Canary unicolor oystercatcher: bird of the Canary Islands with black plumage and a reddish circumference around the eyes. Extinct in 1994 due to the lack of competition with man for the same species for their food and for the interest and consumption of their meat and eggs. It is about the bird that appears in the cover image of this article.
- Bucardo: A subspecies of mountain goat similar to the Lusitanian goat mentioned above. Extinct in 2000 because of hunting for its antlers, since it was the largest and because of competition for food with other species.
- Levantine Iberian wolf: similar to the common gray wolf but with reddish fur. The exact moment of its disappearance is unknown, so there are those who consider that there is still an individual of this species, although no one has seen it in at least the last 100 years.
Some other species of extinct animals in Spain are:
- Cave bear
- Giant dormouse from Mallorca
- Giant Dormouse from Menorca
- Majorca hare
- Balearic giant rat
- Tenerife giant rat
- Malpaís mouse
- Giant lizard of La Palma
- Canary giant tortoise
- Maspalomas grasshopper
If you want to read more articles similar to Recently extinct animals in Spain, we recommend that you enter our category of Extinct Animals.