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List of European species extinct in the Holocene

Map of Europe

This is a list of European species extinct in the Holocene that covers extinctions from the Holocene epoch, a geologic epoch that began about 11,650 years before present (about 9700 BCE)[A] and continues to the present day.[1]

This list includes the European continent and its surrounding islands. All large islands in the Mediterranean Sea are included except for Cyprus, which is in the List of Asian animals extinct in the Holocene. The recently extinct animals of the Macaronesian islands in the North Atlantic are listed separately. The three Caucasian republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia are included, even though their territory may fall partially or fully in Asia depending of the definition of Europe considered.

Overseas territories, departments, and constituent countries of European countries are not included here; they are found on the lists pertaining to their respective regions. For example, French Polynesia is grouped with Oceania, Martinique is grouped with the West Indies, and Réunion is grouped with Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands, despite all of them being politically part of France.

Many extinction dates are unknown due to a lack of relevant information.

Mammals (class Mammalia)

Elephant-like mammals (order Proboscidea)

Elephants and mammoths (family Elephantidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius Northern Eurasia and North America Most recent remains in the Southern Urals dated to 9650 BCE,[2] and in Cherepovets, Russia to 9290-9180 BCE.[3]
Tilos dwarf elephant Palaeoloxodon tiliensis Tilos, Greece Most recent remains dated to 3040-1840 BCE. A painting on the Ancient Egyptian tomb of Rekhmire (1470-1445 BCE) depicting exotic animals brought to Egypt as tribute by foreign peoples, has been interpreted by some authors as a depiction of a dwarf elephant.[4] Leashed dwarf elephant from Rekhmire's tomb, following a bear or big cat.

Lagomorphs (order Lagomorpha)

Rabbits and hares (family Leporidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Don hare Lepus timidus tanaiticus[5] Russia Gradually replaced by the extant mountain hare south to north until becoming extinct during the Subboreal, 3050-550 BCE.[6]

Pikas (family Ochotonidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Ochotona transcaucasica Georgia and Azerbaijan[7] Similar to the Afghan pika. It probably became extinct in the early Holocene.[8]
Sardinian pika Prolagus sardus Corsica and Sardinia Most recent remains dated to 348 BCE - 283 CE.[9] Though hunted by the original human inhabitants of the islands, it likely became extinct due to Roman agricultural practices, the introduction of predators (dogs, cats, and small mustelids) and ecological competitors (rodents, rabbits, and hares).[10] Transmission of pathogens by rabbits and hares could have been another factor.[11] Survival into modern history, even as late as 1774 on the smaller island of Tavolara, has been hypothesised from the description of unknown mammals by later Sardinian authors; however, this interpretation remains dubious owing to anatomical discrepancies.[12]
Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Steppe pika Ochotona pusilla Western Europe to Kazakhstan Most recent remains dated to 9650 BCE in the Ponto-Caspian region, 9550 BCE in Boreal Europe, 9450 BCE in the British Isles, 8850 BCE in Northwestern Germany, 8750 BCE in northern Central Europe, 6050 BCE[2] in the Carpathian Basin, the Middle Holocene in the Middle Urals,[13] and 1220 BCE in the Southern Urals.[2] This species avoids human disturbance strictly and is considered an excellent indicator of the health of steppe ecosystems, as a result.[14]

Rodents (order Rodentia)

Hamsters, voles, lemmings, muskrats, and New World rats and mice (family Cricetidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Microtus brecciensis Iberian Peninsula Most recent remains dated to 8450 BCE.[2]
Pliomys coronensis Western Europe Most recent remains in Green Spain dated to the Holocene.[2]
Tyrrhenian vole Tyrrhenicola henseli Corsica and Sardinia Most recent remains dated to 348 BCE - 283 CE.[9]
Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Narrow-headed vole Microtus gregalis Northern Eurasia Most recent remains dated to 9650 BCE in the Ponto-Caspian Region, 9550 BCE in Boreal Europe, 8750 BCE in northern Central Europe, 8250 BCE in the Franco-Cantabrian region, 6050 BCE in Northwestern Germany, 5850 BCE[2] in the Carpathian Basin, and Late Holocene in the Urals.[14]

Old World rats and mice (family Muridae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Mus minotaurus Crete, Greece Most recent remains at Mochlos dated to the Bronze Age. It was outcompeted and replaced by the house mouse accidentally introduced by sailors from the eastern Mediterranean.[15]
St. Kilda house mouse Mus musculus muralis St Kilda, Scotland A commensal species, it became extinct after the removal of all human inhabitants from the island in 1930.[16]
Tyrrhenian field rat Rhagamys orthodon Corsica and Sardinia Most recent remains dated to 348 BCE - 283 CE.[9]

Dormice (family Gliridae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Majorcan giant dormouse Hypnomys morpheus Gymnesian Islands, Spain Most recent remains at Escorca, Mallorca dated to 4840-4690 BCE, coinding with the period of initial human settlement in the island. It could have succumbed to diseases carried by introduced commensal mammals.[17]

Squirrels (family Sciuridae)

Scientific name Range Comments
Spermophilus citelloides Central Europe Most recent remains dated to the early Holocene.[18]
Spermophilus superciliosus North Central Europe and the British Isles Most recent remains dated to 8750 BCE in north Central Europe.[2]

True insectivores (order Eulipotyphla)

True shrews (family Soricidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Sardinian giant shrew Asoriculus similis Corsica and Sardinia[19] Most recent remains dated to 348 BCE - 283 CE.[9][B]
Balearic giant shrew Nesiotites hidalgo Gymnesian Islands, Spain Most recent remains at Alcúdia dated to 3030-2690 BCE, coinding with the period of initial human settlement in the island. It could have succumbed to diseases carried by introduced commensal mammals.[17]
Top, compared to Neomys below.
Top, compared to Neomys below.

Carnivorans (order Carnivora)

Cats (family Felidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Eurasian cave lion Panthera spelaea Northern Eurasia and Beringia Most recent remains in the Franco-Cantabrian region dated to 9350 BCE.[2] Other lion remains from Italy and northern Spain could indicate that a small form survived in mountain areas until the Preboreal and Boreal, respectively.[20]
Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus Africa and western Asia to India Remains were found in Shengavit and Urartu, Armenia dating to the 4th-3rd millennium BCE. It is also depicted in rock art of the 4th-1st millennium BCE, where it can be differenciated from the leopard by the shape of its paws and unretracted claws. Possibly survived in Armenia until the Middle Ages before disappearing due to hunting.[21]
Lion Panthera leo Africa, western Asia, northern India, and southern Europe According to the alternate hypothesis, the modern lion expanded into southern Europe and replaced the cave lion there already in the Late Glacial, surviving in Italy and northern Spain until the Preboreal or Boreal.[20] A possible second colonization event took place in the Balkans during the Atlantic and Subboreal periods, reaching as far as Hungary, southwestern Ukraine, and Greece. In the Iron Age the lion strongly declined until it disappeared from these regions, possibly because of hunting and habitat loss caused by increasing human population and livestock rearing.[22] In 370 CE the Greco-Roman orator Themistius mentioned that lions had disappeared from Thessaly, their last Balkan stronghold.[C] Lions were also hunted historically across Transcaucasia, and were reportedly common in the ungulate-rich Kura-Araz and Mughan plains, up to the Absheron Peninsula, until 900 CE.[24]
European leopards Populations of Panthera pardus Central and southern Europe A cold-adapted subspecies of the leopard, Panthera pardus spelaea, was widespread in Europe during the Pleniglacial and Late Glacial.[25] A 8850 BCE record from the Franco-Cantabrian region,[2] another from the Preboreal or Boreal of Greece, and two from the Sub-Atlantic of western and southern Ukraine could indicate that leopards survived or recolonized the continent in the Holocene. However, later remains from Hellenistic and Roman sites are confidently attributed to imports from Asia and Africa.[22]

In the Caucasus, the leopard was hunted to extinction from most of the region by the 1950s or 1960s,[26] but still survives in small areas of the North Caucasus, southern Armenia, and Azerbaijan.[27] These leopards belong to the Persian subspecies Panthera pardus tulliana, which also occurs in Anatolia.[28] In 1889 an Anatolian leopard was killed in the Greek island of Samos after swimming from Asia. Local folklore suggests that similar events have happened in the island at different times in history.[29]

Tiger Panthera tigris Tropical and temperate Asia to the Black Sea Present permanently in the Caucasus region and along the Caspian and eastern Azov coasts, the Terek and Kuban rivers, and the estuary of the Don river during the 10th-12th centuries CE, with vagrants recorded as far as Chernihiv, Ukraine.[26] Last recorded in Mingrelia and Imeretia at the beginning of the 17th century, Armenia in the early 19th century, eastern Georgia in 1936,[24] and Azerbaijan's Talysh Mountains in 1966. Last three were all vagrants intruding after tigers stopped breeding in the respective area.[26]

Hyenas (family Hyaenidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Cave hyena Crocuta spelaea Europe and Central Asia Most recent remains dated to 9650 BCE in the Franco-Cantabrian region and to 8950 BCE in the British Isles.[2]

Dogs (family Canidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Sicilian wolf Canis lupus cristaldii Sicily, Italy Exterminated by livestock farmers. The last confirmed individual was killed in 1924 near Bellolampo; unconfirmed killings near Palermo were reported between 1935 and 1938, and unconfirmed sightings between 1960 and 1970.[30]
European dhole Cuon alpinus europaeus Central, Southern Europe and the Caucasus Most recent remains dated to 7050-6550 BCE in Riparo Fredian, Italy (with doubts)[31] and Les Coves de Santa Maira, Spain.[32] Claims of 21st century presence of dhole in the Caucasus are erroneous.[33]
Sardinian dhole Cynotherium sardous Corsica and Sardinia Most recent remains in Corsica dated to 9910-9710 BCE and Sardinia to 9531-9196 BCE, roughly coinciding with modern human colonization of the islands.[34]

Martens, polecats, otters, badgers, and weasels (family Mustelidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Sardinian giant otter Megalenhydris barbaricina Sardinia, Italy Known from a single skeleton found in a cave with no stratigraphical context but estimated to be Late Pleistocene or early Holocene,[35] 68050-8050 BCE.[36]

Odd-toed ungulates (order Perissodactyla)

Horses and allies (family Equidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Tarpan Equus ferus ferus Western Europe to western Siberia,[37] Anatolia?[38] Historical sources record wild horses living until the 12th century in Denmark, 13th in Germany,[39] 14th in Portugal, 16th in Spain,[40] the Vosges, East Prussia, and Lithuania; 18th in the northern Carpathians[39] and southern Urals,[41] and 19th in Poland and Ukraine.[42] The last in the wild was killed in Askania-Nova in 1879, and the last in captivity died in the Moscow Zoo in 1887.[39] Some sources treat them as wild, untameable animals of different nature to horses, and others as feral horses or hybrids, casting doubt on the moment when pure wild horses became extinct in the continent. Despite this, the IUCN considers the subspecies E. f. ferus valid. The Tatar-Cossack word tarpan became a popular name for European wild horses in the 19th century, though it is sometimes limited to horses from central and eastern Europe.[42]

Paleogenomics suggest that horses were domesticated independently in the Ponto-Caspian steppe and expanded to the rest of Europe by the Bronze Age. Early nomadic pastoralists likely released their horses to graze freely at night, resulting in feral populations and hybridization with wild horses. Wild mares were also captured to replenish domestic herds, breaking down the social order of wild herds and diminishing their reproduction. Around 600-1100 CE, the originally high genetic diversity of domestic horses descended to modern levels.[42] In historical times European wild horses were hunted for their meat, hide, traditional medicine, sport, and to protect crops and livestock hay deposits during the winter.[40][39] Several horse breeds have been claimed to have recent tarpan ancestry including the Konik, Sorraia, Exmoor pony, Hucul pony, Bosnian Mountain Horse, Estonian Native, and Gotland pony. However, genetic and historical evidence indicate that they are typical domestic horses.[42]

Tarpan drawn by Charles Hamilton Smith from eyewitness testimonies (1841).

A supposed tarpan or tarpan hybrid photographed in captivity in Russia in 1884. The origins of the image and animal are actually unknown (Lovász et al., 2021).
Hydruntine Equus hemionus hydruntinus Southern Europe to northern Iran Remains dated to 8050 BCE in Western Europe, 3550 BCE in Italy,[2] 3300-2700 BCE in Karanovo, Bulgaria; 3200-2500 BCE in Los Millares, Spain; 2050 BCE in southern Central Europe,[2] and 1500-500 BCE in Keti, Armenia. Questionable remains in Didi-gora, Georgia dated to 1075 BCE. The hydruntine inhabited open steppe habitat that became rarer and fragmented in the Holocene, making it more vulnerable to human exploitation.[43]
Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Turkmenian kulan Equus hemionus kulan Ukraine to Central Asia[44] Probably present in the deserts between the Volga and Ural rivers until the 18th or 19th century, when it was extirpated due to increasing hunting with firearms and seizure of waterholes for livestock use. 18th century records from Voronezh, Russia are considered unreliable.[45] It was first reintroduced to Askania-Nova, Ukraine in 1950.[46] In 2020 Rewilding Europe released kulan in the Tarutyne steppe next to the Danube Delta.[47] It has also announced plans to release kulan in Spain as proxy for the hydruntine.[48]
Persian onager Equus hemionus onager Iran and the eastern Caucasus Most recent remains at the Baku fortress dated to the 13th century.[43]

Rhinoceroses (family Rhinocerotidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Woolly rhinoceros Coelodonta antiquitatis Northern Eurasia Most recent remains in the Southern Urals dated to 9450 BCE.[2]

Even-toed ungulates (order Artiodactyla)

Right and bowhead whales (family Balaenidae)

Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis North Atlantic and western Mediterranean Sea Possibly calved in the Mediterranean in ancient times.[49] All few confirmed individuals in Europe since 1999 were identified as vagrants from the North American population, and known calving areas in Africa appear to be depleted.[50]

Gray whales (family Eschrichtiidae)

Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Gray whale Eschrichtius robustus North Atlantic, Mediterranean, and northern Pacific Ocean[51] Most recent remains at Ijmuiden, Netherlands were dated to 550 CE.[52] A vagrant from the Pacific population dispersed over the Arctic Ocean and was seen in Europe in 2010.[53][54]

True deer (family Cervidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Caucasian moose Alces alces caucasicus North Caucasus and the Transcaucasian coast of the Black Sea Hunted to extinction by the beginning of the 20th century. The subspecies' validity is questioned because moose from Russia later colonized the North Caucasus naturally over the 20th century.[55]
Irish elk Megaloceros giganteus Europe and Southern Siberia Most recent remains in Maloarkhangelsk, Russia dated to 5766-5643 BCE,[56] and in the South Urals dated to 2320 BCE.[2] Alleged Holocene remains from Great Britain, Ireland, Schleswig-Holstein, and Ukraine are poorly dated or erroneous. Scythian engravings from 600-500 BCE that appear to depict Megaloceros could have been based on fossil remains.[56]
Praemegaceros cazioti Corsica and Sardinia[57] Most recently dated to 8718 BCE in Teppa u Lupinu, Corsica and 5641–5075 BCE in Grotta Juntu, Sardinia. It survived the first human colonization of the islands, but became extinct when Neolithic peoples arrived.[34]
Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Wapiti Cervus canadensis Northern Eurasia and North America Survived into the early Holocene of Scania and (as the subspecies C. c. palmidactyloceros) in northern Italy, Switzerland, and possibly the French Alps while the temperate forest-adapted red deer replaced it in the rest of Europe. The dwarf subspecies C. c. tyrrhenicus existed in Capri after the post-glacial sea level rise.[58]

Cattle, goats, antelopes, and others (family Bovidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Caucasian wisent Bison bonasus caucasicus Caucasus and Anatolia Declined after the Russian conquest of the Caucasus as a result of increased hunting, deforestation, and domestic cattle rearing. The subspecies was protected in the 1890s when it was limited to 442 animals in the area between the Belaya and Laba rivers. However an epizootic outbreak in 1919 reduced the animals to just 50, and the last individuals were poached in 1927.[59] The only captive animal, a male, lived in Germany between 1908 and 1925 and bred with females of the lowland wisent subspecies. As a result, several wisent populations carry its genes today.[60]
Carpathian wisent Bison bonasus hungarorum Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania Claimed subspecies disappeared in either 1762 or 1790, but there is a lack of differences to justify it. It was described from a single neurocranium in the Hungarian National Museum that was subsequently lost in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[61]
Steppe bison Bison priscus Northern Eurasia and North America Most recent remains dated to 1130-1060 BCE near the Oyat river in Western Russia. However this date was not calibrated and the remains could be older.[62] Recent calibrated dates include 9450 BCE in the Southern Urals, 8650 BCE in the Middle Urals, and 7550 BCE in Boreal Europe.[2]
Eurasian aurochs Bos primigenius primigenius Mid-latitude Eurasia Declined as a result of hunting, deforestation for agriculture, competition with livestock for pastures, and diseases transmitted by domestic cattle. The last individual in the Jaktorow forest of Mazovia, Poland died in 1627,[63] and the last in Sofia, Bulgaria in the late 17th or early 18th century.[64][65] There are different active projects to breed aurochs-like cattle and release them in the wild as proxy for the aurochs.
European water buffalo Bubalus murrensis Central, eastern, and southeastern Europe Most recent confirmed remains in Kolomna, Russia dated to 10811 BCE, during the Last Glacial Period.[66] However, unique genetic introgression into local domestic water buffaloes and possible remains from the Neolithic of southeastern Europe (9000-7000 BCE) and Atlantic of Austria (7000-4000 BCE) suggest that the native European species of water buffalo survived into the Holocene.[67] In 2019, Rewilding Europe released domestic buffaloes in the Danube Delta as proxy for the European water buffalo.[68]
Portuguese ibex Capra pyrenaica lusitanica Portuguese-Galician border Hunted to extinction around 1890. A different subspecies of Spanish ibex naturally colonized the Peneda-Gerês National Park in the Portuguese ibex's former range during the 21st century.[69][70]
Pyrenean ibex Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica Pyrenees and possibly the Cantabrian Mountains[71] The last individual, a female, died at Ordesa National Park in 2000. A single cloned individual was born on July 30, 2003, but died several minutes later,[72] making this the first case of biological taxon de-extinction and a taxon becoming extinct twice. In 2014, Spanish ibexes from the Guadarrama Mountains were released in the French Pyrenees as proxy for the Pyrenean ibex.[70]
Balearic Islands cave goat Myotragus balearicus Gymnesian Islands, Spain Most recent remains dated to 3969-3759 BCE in Menorca, 3649-3379 BCE in Cabrera,[73] and 2830-2470 BCE in Mallorca. The timeframe allows to confidently exclude climate change as a reason for the extinction and blame it solely on the first human settlers to the islands.[74]
Extinct in the wild
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Lowland wisent Bison bonasus bonasus Western Europe to southern Siberia The last wild population in Poland's Białowieża Forest was hunted to extinction during World War I. A captive herd was returned to Bialowieza in 1929; it was made of zoo animals, some of which were hybridized with other subspecies or species of bison. Individuals with American bison ancestry were removed from Bialowieza in 1936, and with Caucasian wisent ancestry in 1950. The Bialowieza herd was fully returned to the wild in 1952 and subsequently used as stock for pure lowland herds in Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus.[75] The Caucasian-lowland hybrid line was introduced to the Kavkazsky Nature Reserve in 1940, in the Caucasian wisent's former range, and allowed to roam free from 1946.[76] Other hybrid wisent herds were later established in the Carpathians, Ukraine, and Russia.[75]
Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Wild water buffalo Bubalus arnee[77] Southern Asia Most recent remains at Kosi Choter, Armenia dated to the Bronze Age.[78]
Tahr Hemitragus sp. Southern Europe to the Caucasus and the Himalayas Most recent remains in the Iberian Peninsula dated to 9600 BCE.[2]
Muskox Ovibos moschatus Northern Eurasia and North America Most recent remains in Sweden were dated to 7050 BCE.[79] The first reintroduction attempt was made at Gurskøya, Norway in 1925, but all animals died because of the unfavorable climate or poaching. Another herd was released at Hjerkinn in the Dovre mountains in 1932. These animals are presumed to have been exterminated during World War II, though there were unconfirmed sightings of muskoxen at Tafjord in 1942 and 1951. The definitive successful reintroduction in Dovre was made in 1947.[80] In 1971 a herd left Dovre after being harassed by tourists and established itself in Harjedalen, Sweden. Norwegians also introduced muskoxen to Svalbard in 1929, outside of the muskox's natural range, but this population died out by the 1970s.[79]

Birds (class Aves)

Rails and cranes (order Gruiformes)

Rails (family Rallidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Ibiza rail Rallus eivissensis Ibiza, Spain Most recent remains dated to 5295-4848 BCE.[81]

Shorebirds (order Charadriiformes)

Sandpipers (family Scolopacidae)

Possibly extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Slender-billed curlew Numenius tenuirostris Western Eurasia and North Africa The species bred in Kazakhstan and southern Siberia and wintered in western Morocco and Tunisia, being present in Europe during migration or as a vagrant. It likely disappeared as a result of habitat alteration in Asia and overhunting in Africa. The last confirmed record worldwide was in Hungary, in 2001.[82]

Auks (family Alcidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Great auk Pinguinus impennis Northern Atlantic and western Mediterranean Sea Originally hunted for its feathers, meat, fat, and oil; as it grew rare, also to supply collectionists. The last pair on the eastern Atlantic was killed on Eldey Island, off Iceland in 1844.[83]

Buttonquails (family Turnicidae)

Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Common buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus Africa, South Asia, southwestern Iberian Peninsula, and Sicily Last confirmed individual in Spain was killed in Doñana National Park in 1981.[84]

Pelicans, herons, and ibises (order Pelecaniformes)

Ibises and spoonbills (family Threskiornithidae)

Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita Mediterranean region Extirpated from Europe before 1650 as a result of habitat loss, climate change, and direct persecution.[85] A 1738 painting made in England by Eleazar Albin was based on a stuffed specimen or an older depiction.[86] In 1991 a gradual reintroduction project using handreared chicks began at Alpenzoo Innsbruck in Austria, and in 2011 a migratory population was established between southern Germany, Austria, and Tuscany. A second reintroduction project started in southern Spain in 2004.[85]

Hawks and relatives (order Accipitriformes)

Hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures (family Accipitridae)

Scientific name Range Comments
Aquila nipaloides Corsica and Sardinia[87] Similar to the steppe eagle. Most recent remains at Teppa di U Lupinu, Corsica dated to 8718-8300 BCE.[88]

Owls (order Strigiformes)

True owls (family Strigidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Mediterranean brown fish owl Ketupa zeylonensis lamarmorae Corsica, Sardinia, southern Italy, Crete, and Israel Described as different separated species including Bubo insularis, before being recognized as a subspecies of the Asian brown fish owl.[89] The most recent remains in Corsica date to 7433-7035 BCE. In Corsica-Sardinia it could have been locally adapted to prey on the Sardinian pika, disappearing after human arrival with it.[9]
Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Images
Marsh owl Asio capensis Africa and southwestern Iberia Occasional winter visitor to southwest Andalusia until the end of the 19th century, with a single later record of a bird shot in Jerez de la Frontera in 1998.[90]

Perching birds (order Passeriformes)

Crows and relatives (family Corvidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Pied raven Corvus corax varius morpha leucophaeus Faroe Islands Last confirmed individual shot in Mykines in 1902.[91]

Reptiles (class Reptilia)

Squamates (order Squamata)

Wall lizards (family Lacertidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Ratas Island lizard Podarcis lilfordi rodriquezi Ratas Island off Mahón, Spain Exterminated in 1935[92] when the island was exploded as part of remodeling works in Mahón harbor.[93]
Santo Stefano lizard Podarcis siculus sanctistephani Santo Stefano Island, Italy Extinct around 1965 as a result of a epidemic and predation by introduced snakes and feral cats.[94]

Vipers (family Viperidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Ibizan dwarf viper Vipera latastei ebusitana Ibiza, Spain Most recent remains dated to 5295 BCE. The causes of extinction are presumed human-induced due to the lack of climatic changes at the time, such as the introduction of exotic predators like feral dogs, pigs, and garden dormice by the first human settlers.[95]

Ray-finned fish (class Actinopterygii)

Sturgeons and paddlefishes (order Acipenseriformes)

Sturgeons (family Acipenseridae)

Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus Eastern coast of North America and the Baltic region Last known Baltic specimen was caught in 1996 near Muhumaa, Estonia.[96] It was reintroduced to the Oder river in 2009,[97] and to the Narva in 2013.[98]

Minnows and allies (order Cypriniformes)

Carps, minnows, and relatives (family Cyprinidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Skadar nase Chondrostoma scodrense Lake Skadar Described in 1987 from specimens preserved in the 1900s. Surveys of the lake failed to find any living animals.[99]
Danube delta gudgeon Romanogobio antipai Lower Danube Last recorded in the 1960s.[100]

Salmon, trout and relatives (order Salmoniformes)

Salmon, trout and relatives (family Salmonidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Coregonus bezola Lac du Bourget, France Last recorded individual caught in the late 19th century, though local testimonies suggest it persisted until the 1960s.[101]
True fera Coregonus fera Lake Geneva Last recorded in 1920. Became extinct due to eutrophication and overfishing.[102]
Lake Constance whitefish Coregonus gutturosus Lake Constance Not recorded since eutrophication of the lake peaked in the early 1970s, killing all eggs.[103]
Gravenche Coregonus hiemalis Lake Geneva Not recorded since the early 1900s. Likely disappeared due to eutrophication and overfishing.[104]
Coregonus restrictus Lake Morat, Switzerland Last recorded in 1890, likely because of eutrophication.[105]
Salvelinus neocomensis Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland Last recorded in 1904.[106]
Extinct in the wild
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Beloribitsa Stenodus leucichthys Caspian Sea, Volga, Ural and Terek river drainages Last recorded in the Ural in the 1960s.[107] All spawning grounds were lost after dams were built in the Volga, Ural, and Terek river drainages. The species continues to exist in captivity, from which it is released periodically in its native range. However, illegal fishing and hybridization with the introduced nelma remain threats to its survival.[108]
Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Houting Coregonus oxyrinchus Southern North Sea, Scheldt, Meuse and Rhine Basins up to Cologne, and southeastern England Disappeared around 1940 as a result of water pollution.[109] Though treated as a different species since about 1700, a genetic study in 2023 found the houting indistinguishable from the lavaret (Coregonus lavaretus) still extant in Great Britain, the Alpine area, and waterways it was introduced to.[110][111]

Lionfishes and sculpins (order Scorpaeniformes)

Sticklebacks (family Gasterosteidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Techirghiol stickleback Gasterosteus crenobiontus Lake Techirghiol, Romania Last recorded in the 1960s. Extinct as a result of hybridization with the three-spined stickleback; the springs it inhabited were separated from the latter's habitat by a hypersaline lake acting as barrier between the species, until irrigation works transformed the lake into a brackish one that was invaded by migratory three-spined sticklebacks.[112]

Cartilaginous fish (class Chondrichthyes)

Shovelnose rays and allies (order Rhinopristiformes)

Sawfishes (family Pristidae)

Locally extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Smalltooth sawfish Pristis pectinata Mid-Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea Last caught in Vis, Croatia in 1902, and broadly in the Mediterranean before 1956.[113]
Largetooth sawfish Pristis pristis Circumtropical Last caught in Embiez, France before 1966.[113]

Lampreys and relatives (class Hyperoartia)

Lampreys (order Petromyzontiformes)

Northern lampreys (family Petromyzontidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Ukrainian migratory lamprey Eudontomyzon sp. nov. 'migratory' Dniestr, Dniepr, and Don River drainages Disappeared in the late 19th century for unknown reasons.[114]

Insects (class Insecta)

Praying mantises (order Mantodea)

Family Amelidae

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Spined dwarf mantis Ameles fasciipennis Probably near Tolentino, Italy Known only from the holotype, probably collected around 1871.[115]
Pseudoyersinia brevipennis Hyères, France Only known from the holotype collected in 1860.[116]

Bark lice, book lice and parasitic lice (order Psocodea)

Family Trichodectidae

Possibly extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Iberian lynx louse Felicola isidoroi Andújar, Spain Only known from a male adult and a nymph found on a dead Iberian lynx in 1997, itself a critically endangered species with low population density and disjunct distribution at the time. Besides difficulties in mixing and exchanging populations, the lice was threatened by the fact that lynxes taken to captive breeding centers were systematically deloused.[117][118]

Beetles (order Coleoptera)

Predaceous diving beetles (family Dytiscidae)

Common name Scientific name Range
Perrin's cave beetle Siettitia balsetensis France[119]

Butterflies and moths (order Lepidoptera)

Metalmark butterflies (family Riodinidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
British large copper Lycaena dispar dispar England, United Kingdom Last recorded in 1864.[120]
Moss-land silver-studded blue Plebejus argus masseyi Lancashire and Cumbria, United Kingdom Last recorded in 1942.[121]
Dutch alcon blue Phengaris alcon arenaria Utrecht and Holland, Netherlands Last recorded in 1980.[122]
British large blue Phengaris arion eutyphron Southern Britain Last recorded in 1979. The subspecies P. a. arion was later introduced from Sweden to replace it.[123]

Cosmet moths (family Cosmopterigidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Manchester moth Euclemensia woodiella Kersal Moor, United Kingdom Last recorded in the 1820s. Only three museum specimens remain.[124]

Caddisflies (order Trichoptera)

Net-spinning caddisflies (family Hydropsychidae)

Common name Scientific name Range Comments
Tobias' caddisfly Hydropsyche tobiasi The Main River and the Rhine up to Cologne, Germany Last collected in 1938. Both the Main and the Rhine were heavily polluted around that time and all local caddisfly species disappeared. Although other caddisflies returned after water quality improved, this species has not been recorded since.[125]

Flies and mosquitos (order Diptera)

Long-legged flies (family Dolichopodidae)

Scientific name Range Comments
Poecilobothrus majesticus Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, United Kingdom Last recorded in 1907. The causes of extinction are unknown.[126]

Slugs and snails (class Gastropoda)

Order Littorinimorpha

Mud snails (family Hydrobiidae)

Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Graecoanatolica macedonica Doiran Lake on the Greece-North Macedonia border Last recorded in 1987 and deemed extinct as a result of water substraction, which peaked in 1988. However, fresh shells collected in 2009 may hint to its continued survival.[127]
Ohridohauffenia drimica Upper Drin River in North Macedonia Last recorded before 1983. Disappeared when the river was drained.[128]
Possibly extinct
Scientific name Range Comments
Belgrandia varica Var River Delta, France Not seen since 1870. The documented area of distribution was greatly urbanized, degraded, and polluted afterward.[129]
Belgrandiella boetersi Tiefsteinschlucht, Austria Not seen in surveys since at least 1968. It likely declined due to groundwater abstraction and habitat degradation.[130]

Order Stylommatophora

True glass snails (family Zonitidae)

Scientific name Range Comments
Zonites santoriniensis Santorini, Greece Wiped out by the Minoan eruption.[131]
Zonites siphnicus Sifnos, Sikinos, and Folegandros, Greece Only known from subfossil remains collected in 1935-1936.[132]
Possibly extinct
Scientific name Range Comments
Zonites embolium Islets of Dyo Adelfoi, Megali Zafrano, Karavonisi, and Divounia, inbetween Astypalaia and Karpathos, Greece Known only from subfossil shells in three islets and last recorded in the fourth in 1985. Likely declined due to habitat alteration caused by fire, tourism, and military construction.[133]

Family Parmacellidae

Scientific name Range Comments
Parmacella gervaisii La Crau, Provence, France Not seen since its description in 1874. The species has been suggested to be the same as, or related to Drusia deshayesii from northern Morocco and Algeria, as well as an introduced species.[134]

Sea anemones, corals, and zoanthids (class Hexacorallia)

Sea anemones (order Actiniaria)

Family Edwardsiidae

Possibly extinct
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Ivell's sea anemone Edwardsia ivelli Widewater Lagoon, West Sussex, United Kingdom Not recorded since 1983, possibly because of water pollution.[135]

Plants (kingdom Plantae)

Order Asterales

Sunflowers (family Asteraceae)

Probably extinct
Scientific name Range Comments
Hieracium cambricogothicum Great Britain Last collected in 1970.[136]

Order Ericales

Primroses (family Ericales)

Extinct in the wild
Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Lysimachia minoricensis Barranc de Sa Vall, Minorca, Spain Disappeared from the wild between 1926 and 1950. The causes are unknown.[137]

Order Poales

Grasses (family Poaceae)

Extinct in the wild
Common name Scientific name Range Comments Pictures
Interrupted brome Bromus interruptus Wash to Severn estuaries, United Kingdom Disappeared from the wild in 1972, probably due to crop sprays and improved seed screening. Reintroduced in 2001.[138]

See also


  1. ^ The source gives "11,700 calendar yr b2k (before CE 2000)". But "BP" means "before CE 1950". Therefore, the Holocene began 11,650 BP. Doing the math, that is c. 9700 BCE.
  2. ^ A. corsicanus was originally applied to remains from Corsica and A. similis to Sardinia. It was later recognized that A. corsicanus existed in the early Pleistocene of both islands, and A. similis in the late Pleistocene-Holocene, as seen in Moncunill-Sole et al. (2016).
  3. ^ "...and we are displeased because elephants have been removed from Libya, because lions have disappeared from Thessaly, because hippopotamoi have been gotten rid from the marshes of the Nile."[23]


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List of European species extinct in the Holocene
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