Extinction - books about recently extinct animals and birds

A Listmania! list by I. C. Thomas "Ian T" (Foothills of Confusion, Vic. Australia)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "The Sixth Great Wave of extinction is happening right now and to significant species. These books are all great nature writing talking about the demise of various animals and birds due to human causes. The Baiji, Po'ouli, Alaotra Grebe and Pinta Island Tortoise in the 21st Century have joined the Paradise Parrot, the Thylacine, the emblematic Dodo and so many others in this growing list. There are also species like the Christmas Island Pipistrelle Bat, and significant subspecies like the Western Black Rhinoceros, that are so recently extinct that the books are yet to be written.

This list is far from exhaustive - there simply aren't dedicated books on fascinating animals such as the Warrah or the megafauna of Madagascar - but I recommend these for their thoroughness and readability.

We've still learnt so little: locally, watching the current fate of the Leadbeater's Possum here in Victoria, Australia, shows the same patterns of destruction witnessed recently in these books."
Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin
1.  Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin by Sam Turvey
The list author says:
  "The recent extinction of the Baiji or Chinese River Dolphin, a species with a 20 million year history, is enormously significant.  Samuel Turvey gives a broad and detailed account of the whole history, discusses the difficulties with conservation in China, and what has gone wrong at each stage in the demise of the Baiji, unofficially confirmed in 2006."
$16.77   Used & New from: $1.72
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird: The Discovery and Death of the Po'ouli
2.  The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird: The Discovery and Death of the Po'ouli by Alvin Powell
The list author says:
  "Discovered in 1970s and finally extinct by 2004, this is a moving account of the short known history and courageous attempts to save this unique species.  As with "Witness to Extinction" it gives good insight into the current nature of conservation efforts and how they can fail.  Extinction in Hawaii continues."
$20.04   Used & New from: $0.01
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine
3.  The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine by Robert Paddle
The list author says:
  "With so much previously written about the Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, it was surprising to find Robert Paddle's detailed research overturning so much "common knowledge" that was plain wrong.  A fascinating book."
$29.53   Used & New from: $22.51
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of the World's Most Famous Tortoise
4.  Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of the World's Most Famous Tortoise by Henry Nicholls
The list author says:
  "Today, 24th June, 2012, Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island Giant Tortoise, has died, rendering his subspecies extinct.  This book is a detailed and enjoyable account of his unexpected discovery and life."
$12.62   Used & New from: $1.99
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Caribbean Monk Seals: Lost Seals of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
5.  Caribbean Monk Seals: Lost Seals of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea by John Hairr
The list author says:
  "A thorough book on the Caribbean Monk Seal, which apparently became extinct in the 1950s.  Hairr covers the history and what is known of this once plentiful pinniped, including personal accounts and the factors - hunting, overfishing, captivity for entertainment - that led to its demise.  As with the other books, many lessons to be learned."
$9.95   Used & New from: $5.46
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Glimpses of Paradise: The Quest for the Beautiful Parrakeet
6.  Glimpses of Paradise: The Quest for the Beautiful Parrakeet by Penny Olsen
The list author says:
  "Beautiful enough to be a coffee table book, Penny Olsen's detailed account of the discovery and demise of the Paradise Parrot in Australia during the last century is well written and complemented by many paintings and photographs"
Used & New from: $51.18

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Mama Poc: An Ecologist's Account of the Extinction of a Species
7.  Mama Poc: An Ecologist's Account of the Extinction of a Species by Anne Labastille
The list author says:
  "A personal account of a committed ecologist's long battle to save the Poc, the flightless giant pied-billed grebe of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, and of the political and natural forces that conspired against its salvation."
$22.27   Used & New from: $0.16
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

The Silent Sky: The Incredible Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon
8.  The Silent Sky: The Incredible Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon by Allan W. Eckert
The list author says:
  "From being one of the world's most abundant birds, clouding American skies, in less than a Century the Passenger Pigeon was reduced to one captive bird, Martha, who died in 1914.  Eckert writes powerfully, lending empathy to the plight of this timid bird in life, history and extinction."
$15.18   Used & New from: $9.98
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

The Quest For The Eastern Cougar: Extinction or Survival?
9.  The Quest For The Eastern Cougar: Extinction or Survival? by Robert Tougias
The list author says:
  "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conceded the extinction of the Eastern Cougar in March 2011.  This book tells investigates and tells the story."
$17.96   Used & New from: $17.50
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Gastric Brooding Frog
10.  Gastric Brooding Frog by Michael J. Tyler
The list author says:
  "The definitive biological account of the Gastric Brooding Frog, edited by Michael J. Tyler in 1983 two years after extinction, compiles articles by different writers covering all aspects of this species, its features, former distribution, evolution and relationships.  It was a unique animal whose mysteries will now never be uncovered."
Used & New from: $84.05

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A Shadow and a Song: The Struggle to Save Endangered Species (Chelsea Green Classics)
11.  A Shadow and a Song: The Struggle to Save Endangered Species (Chelsea Green Classics) by Mark Jerome Walters
The list author says:
  "With the weight of political will stacked against it, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow went extinct in the late '70s in the shadow of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  Walters himself saw the sparrows and here details every step of the songbird's demise - environmental destruction, the conflict between biologists and bureaucrats and the final mysterious disappearances at Disney World."
Used & New from: $37.98
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Hope Is the Thing With Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds
12.  Hope Is the Thing With Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds by Christopher Cokinos
The list author says:
  "A beautifully written account of the extinctions of six North American birds - Carolina Parakeet, Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, Heath Hen, Passenger Pigeon, Great Auk and Labrador Duck - traces them to the last individuals, covering the politics, experiences and struggles of those who lived and worked with each species.  With b&w photographs.  Essential!"
$13.02   Used & New from: $5.78
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

The Dodo: Extinction in Paradise (Lost Worlds)
13.  The Dodo: Extinction in Paradise (Lost Worlds) by Errol Fuller
The list author says:
  "Part of a series of books by Errol Fuller, consisting of most known illustrative material regarding the Dodo, along with the related (and also extinct) Solitaire of Rodrigues and White Ibis of Reunion.  The text is limited, but a small and beautiful book."
Used & New from: $0.78
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Extinct Birds
14.  Extinct Birds by Errol Fuller
The list author says:
  "This is the place to start for anyone interested in a thorough book covering bird species that have recently become extinct, and these are just the ones we know about!  Well illustrated with paintings and photographs throughout."
Used & New from: $19.00
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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The Search for the Pink-headed Duck
15.  The Search for the Pink-headed Duck by Rory Nugent
The list author says:
  "This remarkable, picaresque travelogue from 1993 follows the author across the Indian subcontinent on a wildly adventurous quest to find the Pink-Headed Duck, fifty years after the last sighting."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Last of the Curlews
16.  Last of the Curlews by Fred Bodsworth
The list author says:
  "Rightly regarded as an American classic of natural history writing, Bodsworth's moving novella fictionalises the migration of the last of the Eskimo Curlews.  It has also been adapted as a children's TV animation in the seventies."
$9.96   Used & New from: $3.23
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals
17.  A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals by Tim Flannery
The list author says:
  "Selecting both spectacular and better documented species, such as the Thylacine, Toolache Wallaby, Passenger Pigeon and Warrah, along with lesser known ones, Tim Flannery writes accounts of their histories to accompany the striking and detailed paintings of nature illustrator Peter Schouten.  One of Schouten's works for this book was an enormous life-size painting of Steller's Sea Cow."
Used & New from: $29.85
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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A Sheltered Life: The Unexpected History of the Giant Tortoise
18.  A Sheltered Life: The Unexpected History of the Giant Tortoise by Paul Chambers
The list author says:
  "The history of Giant Tortoises is remarkable, with different species recently widespread on the Indian Ocean islands - Mascarenes, Seychelles and Madagascar (and still Aldabra) - as well as the Galapagos.  Chambers describes the history of each species, along with the demise of many, following the trails of evidence for some last surviving individuals to unexpected conclusions."
$32.00   Used & New from: $0.20
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

No Turning Back
19.  No Turning Back by Richard Ellis
The list author says:
  "A good place to begin regarding the extinction of animal species, from prehistoric times to the present.  Richard Ellis discusses the late survival of species such as the Aurochs, the loss of so many, attempts at rebreeding, along with talking about the persistence of some thought already lost and those now endangered.  Mostly text, with lots of line illustrations by the author."
Used & New from: $0.01
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Doomsday Book of Animals A Natural History of Vanished Species
20.  Doomsday Book of Animals A Natural History of Vanished Species by David Day
The list author says:
  "From a while ago but highly recommended, covering mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and some plants, with ample illustrations.  Subspecies such as the Bali Tiger, Atlas Bear and Quagga are covered.  Unfortunately, such a wide-ranging book includes some mistakes, listing the Greater Bilby (beyond the Nalpa subspecies) as extinct, and both barred bandicoots.  Still, a good place to start."
Used & New from: $1.88
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction
21.  The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction by David Quammen
The list author says:
  "There is no better modern nature writer than David Quammen, and he is adventurous enough to follow in the footsteps of Alfred Wallace, going to remote island locations and finding out personally how species are faring, as well as discussing the past inhabitants of these remote lands.  First rate scientific nature writing and a great read!"
$16.81   Used & New from: $1.91
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species
22.  The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species by Scott Weidensaul
The list author says:
  "At the edge of extinction where it blends with crytozoology, Scott Weidensaul sensibly discusses species seemingly just gone - Semper's Warbler, the Golden Toad, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker - along with some that have amazingly come back.  Fascinating investigative nature writing."
$15.42   Used & New from: $0.40
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

The book of the huia,
23.  The book of the huia, by W. J. Phillipps
The list author says:
  "While this book is from 1963, it remains the classic work on one of the most unusual birds ever.  The male and female were so different they were initially thought different species.  The tragedy is that they could have been saved using the same island transfer methods that saved other birds at the time."
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Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals (Gecko Press Titles)
24.  Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals (Gecko Press Titles) by Damien Laverdunt
The list author says:
  "This book is a good place to begin on the subject with children.  Translated from French, it features two pages to each extinct animal, with one featuring an illustration and summary, and the other telling a simple story in comic form.  Well presented in a large, attractive format, anyone interested in this area should enjoy this book."
$19.01   Used & New from: $9.29
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Great Auk
25.  Great Auk by Errol Fuller
The list author says:
  "The definitive account of the history of the flightless Great Auk, a large Northern hemisphere convergent equivalent of the penguins, a favourite of both bird and egg collectors, and extinct by 1850.  For those less committed there is the smaller "The Great Auk: The Extinction of the Original Penguin," a colourful book in matching format to Fuller's dodo book."
Used & New from: $21.98
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Quaggas and Other Zebras
26.  Quaggas and Other Zebras by David Barnaby
The list author says:
  "While the focus here is on the Quagga Project, attempting to breed back the quagga subspecies from its near relations, this is an informative account of the history and status of the mysterious "brown zebra" of South Africa.  Don't pay ridiculous prices though - use libraries and shop around (this one is still available from the publisher)."
Used & New from: $49.99

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Extinct Animals: An Encyclopedia of Species that Have Disappeared during Human History
27.  Extinct Animals: An Encyclopedia of Species that Have Disappeared during Human History by Ross Piper
The list author says:
  "This thorough account of the human-caused extinctions of many species, ranging from the recent to the not so recent, packs a lot of information into a small volume.  It discusses each animal in detail, along with b&w photographs or illustrations, forming an important and useful recent resource."
$80.75   Used & New from: $48.20
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Tiger Bone & Rhino Horn: The Destruction of Wildlife for Traditional Chinese Medicine
28.  Tiger Bone & Rhino Horn: The Destruction of Wildlife for Traditional Chinese Medicine by Richard Ellis
The list author says:
  "Related to Ellis' book "No Turning Back," this one details diminishing distributions of all rhinos and tigers (and discusses Asia's bears), including the recent extinctions of the Bali, Javan, Caspian and South China tigers.  The causes are addressed, particularly Chinese medicine, in context with supporting history and mythology.  An important book about megafauna at the very edge."
$25.78   Used & New from: $3.78
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

The Curse of the Labrador Duck: My Obsessive Quest to the Edge of Extinction
29.  The Curse of the Labrador Duck: My Obsessive Quest to the Edge of Extinction by Glen Chilton
The list author says:
  "An ornithological travelogue in which the author details his worldwide encounters while seeking out all 54 stuffed ducks and 9 eggs.  This is more about the author's travels than an account of the Labrador Duck itself - see "Hope is the Thing With Feathers" for that - but if you enjoy sociological travelogues with some reference to nature and museums, you might enjoy this."
$10.00   Used & New from: $0.73
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Sea Of Slaughter
30.  Sea Of Slaughter by Farley Mowat
The list author says:
  "A classic account of the destruction of the wildlife of North America - with particular focus on the North East - since the arrival of Europeans.  It covers air, land and sea, and features the extinction of the Great Auk, Sea Mink, Labrador Duck and Eskimo Curlew, along with the almost total eradication of surviving species, and the destruction of fisheries."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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The Carolina Parakeet: America's Lost Parrot In Art And Memory
31.  The Carolina Parakeet: America's Lost Parrot In Art And Memory by Carole Boston Weatherford
The list author says:
  "A short, readable account of the extinction and history of North America's colourful native parakeet, though unfortunately with black and white pictures."
$11.72   Used & New from: $10.99
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Retracing The Aurochs: History, Morphology & Ecology of an Extinct Wild Ox
32.  Retracing The Aurochs: History, Morphology & Ecology of an Extinct Wild Ox by Cis Van Vuure
The list author says:
  "Apparently, this is the definitive work on the Aurochs, the magnificent, giant, forest oxen that survived Prehistory only to become extinct in 1627.  I can't afford a copy yet..."
$154.77   Used & New from: $139.98

Prodigious Birds: Moas and Moa-Hunting in New Zealand
33.  Prodigious Birds: Moas and Moa-Hunting in New Zealand by Atholl Anderson
The list author says:
  "Regarded as the most comprehensive work on New Zealand's extinct giant birds, covering all species and balancing scientific and historical records and accounts.  I haven't read this yet..."
$80.30
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Seeking the Sacred Raven: Politics and Extinction on a Hawaiian Island
34.  Seeking the Sacred Raven: Politics and Extinction on a Hawaiian Island by Mark Jerome Walters
The list author says:
  "The demise of the `Alalâ in Hawaii from the 1990s on is well documented in Walters' detailed book.  Politics, personal agendas and failed conservation efforts (as with other recent extinctions) are part, but Walters gives insight into the spiritual significance of extinction of a sacred local species.  Extinct in the wild - some still in captivity!"
$29.47   Used & New from: $12.98
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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I. C. Thomas "Ian T" (Foothills of Confusion, Vic. Australia)
(REAL NAME)   
Last updated: 4/9/13
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