Over the last century, a great number of species presumed to be extinct was rediscovered in the wild. Unfortunately, such rediscoveries are rather rare in contrast to the number of species becoming truly extinct and critically endangered (on the verge of extinction). However, species rediscoveries highlight the urgent need for biological inventories and research to protect the planetís biodiversity.
Short-Necked Oil Beetle
The endangered short-necked oil beetle (Meloe brevicollis), thought gone from Britain, was rediscovered recently by an entomologist at a site in southern county of Devon. Marking the first time the beetle species has been found alive in Britain since 1948, the insect was observed on the remote grasslands owned by the National Trust.
This butterfly was found to be a re-discovered (Eurema brigitta senna), a species which had been missing from the Singapore Checklist as it was not sighted for a very long time.
The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) was thought to be extinct in the wild in 1950s. However, the Siamese crocodile was observed again in Thailand and Cambodia in 2001. About 300 individuals are believed to be found in the wild. One crocodile was photographed near Thailand's border with Burma in 2001.
Philippine Forest Turtle
The Philippine forest turtle (Heosemys leytensis) was described for the first time in the late 1920s, however, it was never observed in the wild by scientists. During a turtle expedition in 2001, biologist Pierre Fidenci discovered for the first time several wild adults in southern Philippines. The Philippine forest turtle was thought to be extinct but now the species is known to be endemic to the islands of Dumaran and Palawan. Check out the Philippine forest turtle project.
Madagascar Blind Snake
The Madagascar blind snake (Xenotyphlops mocquardi), which looks like a long, skinny pink worm, was only known from two museum specimens, both discovered in 1905. Scientists found the snake in 2005 during a herpetofauna expedition in northern Madagascar. The specimen was approximately 30 cm long and about as thick as a pencil.
The ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) was thought to be extinct in the 1920s due to deforestation. However, ornithologists observed the first wild individual in Arkansas in 2004. Until the 1870s, the ivory-bill was widespread in lowland primary forests of the southeastern United States.
Madagascar Serpent Eagle
The Madagascar serpent eagle (Eutriorchis astur), a species that had not been seen in 60 years, was observed again in 1993. Currently, at least 75 breeding pairs live in the wild. This bird occupies dense and humid evergreen forests in northeastern and east-central Madagascar.
Laotian Rock Rat
The Laotian rock rat (Laonastes aenigmamus) was believed to be extinct for 11 million years. It is a member of a family that, until now, was only known from the fossil record. Scientists noticed a dead squirrel-like rodent on sale at a market in Laos in 2005 that later was identified as the Laotian rock rat.
Bavarian Pine Vole
No specimens of the Bavarian pine vole (Microtus bavaricus) were oberved since 1962 and it was thought to be extinct. However, a population apparently belonging to this species was discovered in 2000 in Northern Tyrol, just across the German-Austrian border.
Short Necked Oil Beetle © Endangered Species International
Siamese Crocodile © Endangered Species International
Madagascar Blind Snake © Endangered Species International
Ivory Billed Woodpecker © Endangered Species International
Laotian Rock Rat © Endangered Species International
Bavarian Pine Vole © Endangered Species International