Extinct Animals in Canada

Thirty mammals, birds, reptiles and fish that used to live in Canada no longer do.

Biologists suspect that another four species or subspecies of animals which haven't been seen recently may also be gone.

Some of these animals continue to survive in other countries, particularly the United States, and so are considered extirpated from Canada. But many other Canadian animals are extinct globally.

Animals extinct not only in Canada, but throughout the world, include three land mammals, two of which lived just on islands along the British Columbia coast. Also extinct are two marine mammals that inhabitated the Atlantic ocean off Canada's east coast.

Four bird species in Canada, including the eskimo curlew pictured here, are now extinct, affecting every province. Plus one genetically isolated bird population has entirely disappeared from western North America.

Many of Canada's eleven extinct fish lived in the Great Lakes. As well, British Columbia has lost four species of freshwater fish, and Alberta has lost one.

Although three reptiles and possibly one amphibian no longer live in Canada, these are not globally extinct species as they still survive in the United States.

Several of the country's extinct animals were isolated or endemic to Canada. Examples are Dawson caribou on BC's Queen Charlotte Islands, and Banff longnose dace, a fish which occupied only one marsh in Alberta. Other animals, including eastern elk and Atlantic gray whale, were exterminated from their entire range that extended well outside of Canada.

Animals Extirpated From Canadian Provinces

The distribution of many other animals in Canada has shrivelled. Some wildlife species have even vanished entirely from their natural range throughout a province, becoming extirpated. All Canadian provinces have some extirpated animals.

At least 25 species and subspecies of vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) are now considered extirpated from one or more provinces, although they still live elsewhere in Canada. The lack of any recent confirmed local evidence of another ten birds and five mammals suggests that they might also have died out from their entire range in at least one province.

Lists of Extinct Animals in Canada

More Articles on Extinct and Endangered Animals

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