Scientitsts and conservation organizations declared a long list of species may have gone extinct in the past year, which included dozens of frogs, orchids, and fish. Despite regular expeditions to find out if they still exist, most of the species have not been seen in decades. The cause of these extinctions range from diseases to invasive species to habitat loss, but most from human activities.

Although there is yet another long list of extinct animals in the planet, experts are quick to remind everyone that not all hope is lost. Conservation efforts continue, which has been a great factor in recent development of saving certain species from the brink of extinction.

In fact, a study published in 2019 found that conservation efforts reduced bird extinction by 40%, and another paper found that these actions prevented dozens of bird and mammal extinction over the past decades.

The Internation Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the organization that tracks the extinction risk of species around the world, announced several conservation victories.

“We can turn things around. We don’t just have to sit there and cry,” said Stuart Pimm, conservation scientist and founder of the organization Saving Nature.

But at the same time, it is also important to recognize the species we’ve lost, to mourn and vow to prevent others from joining the list.

Here are the species that scientists and conservation organizations declared extinct in 2020.

1. 32 orchard species in Bangladesh

One of the first papers of 2020 reported the probably loss of 17% of Bangladesh’s 187 known orchid species.

2. Smooth handfish (Sympterichthys unipennis)

Handfish are an unusual group of species that have its front fins look like human appendages, which they use to walk on the ocean floor. The species lived off the coast of Tasmania, and has not been seen since 1802. Possible reasons for its extinction include bottom fishing, pollution, habitat destruction, bycatch, and others.

3. 65 North American plants

Researchers went to the continental United States to determine how many plants have been extinct. They found 65, including five small trees, eight shrubs, 37 perennial herbs, and 15 annual herbs. Some had been reported before, but this is the first time they have been declared extinct.

4. 22 frog species

Nearly to dozen long-unseen Central and South American frog species have been declared “critically endangered (possibly extinct)” by IUCN. Most of which were victims of amphibian-killing chytrid fungus. Included in the list is the Aragua robber frog (Pristimantis anotis), which has not been found in 46 years, and the Pinango stubfoot toad (Atelopus pinangoi), which most likely to have disappeared in the 1980s.

5. 17 freshwater fish from Lake Lanao, Mindanao, Philippines

A combination of predatory invasive species, overfishing, and destructive fishing methods (such as dynamite fishing) wiped the species to extinction. IUCN listed 15 species as “extinct” after years of searches and surveys, while the other two as “critically endangered (possibly extinct).” Here are the 15 extinct species:

  1. Barbodes disa – last seen in 1964
  2. Barbodes truncatulus – last seen in 1973
  3. Barbodes pachycheilus – last seen in 1964
  4. Barbodes palaemophagus – last seen in 1975
  5. Barbodes amarus – last seen in 1982
  6. Barbodes manalak – last seen in 1977
  7. Barbodes clemensi – last seen in 1975
  8. Barbodes flavifuscus – last seen in 1964
  9. Barbodes katolo – last seen in 1977
  10. Barbodes palata – last seen in 1964
  11. Barbodes baoulan – last seen in 1991
  12. Barbodes herrei – last seen in 1974
  13. Barbodes lanaoensis – last seen in 1964
  14. Barbodes resimus – last seen in 1964
  15. Barbodes tras – last seen in 1976

Other extinct species can be found through EcoWatch.

You might want to read:
– ‘Singing dog’ thought to be extinct for 50 years, discovered again in the wild
– Herbivores at higher risk of extinction among mammals, birds, and reptiles
– New study predicts most polar bears to the brink of extinction by 2100