Extinct Owl Species

Extinct Owls

There are many known species of owls that are now extinct. That means that they no longer exist and that they will never again walk the Earth. All of them have one thing in common – they are extinct due to their natural environment being taken from them in such a sizable amount that they weren’t able to evolve or to thrive without it being there for them.

The Laughing Owl is one that was native to New Zealand. There were identified in 1840 but believed to be extinct by 1845. Chances are that these owls were well on their way to extinction before they were found by humans. It is speculated that a type of virus that was able to rapidly spread among the species is what caused their final demise to occur. Today you can see stuffed Laughing Owls at the British Museum.

The Madagascar Red Owl was identified in 1878 and it believed to have become extinct in 1993. The number of them was incorrectly believed to be higher than it really was due to the fact that they closely resemble the Barn Owl. A subspecies of the Madagascar Red Owl is also extinct, known as the Cormoro Scoops Owl. It was a very large sized owl and one that we do have several fossilized remains of.

We don’t have very much to go on with the Rodriguez Little Owl. However, the bone fragments and remains of beaks that have been found do identify it as a separate species of owl from others that we know. We don’t really know what happened to them though and the name comes from the last name of the person that found their remains.

The Mauritian Barn Owl was discovered by the remains of bones around the Port Louis area. They are believed to have been extinct around the very early 1700’s. The same is true of the Newtons Barn Owl which indicates that it could have been due to the habitat destruction or a virus that both from that area became extinct.

There are several other species of owls out there that are on the endangered list. This means that there is a good chance they will too become extinct if we aren’t willing to make changes for them now. Careful planning and following through of conservation efforts is the way to protect them. They need to have their natural environment and they need to be protected from hunters and poachers.

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