The discovery of the Americas by Columbus in 1492 initiated a period of rapid colonization in which peoples discovered and colonized new lands. Species such as the Dodo, Steller’s Sea Cow, and Passenger Pigeon went extinct as a result of over-hunting by colonizers, while many other species, including 50% of Hawaii’s birds, disappeared from competition by invasive species and predation by human-brought rats, snakes and cats.
Toward the end of this period, however, human consciousness about animals and extinction began to change. This led to the saving of species including the America Buffalo which was on the brink of extinction from over-hunting. Beginning most aggressively around the 15th Century and with many civilizations preceding Western explorations, humans have been responsible for the loss of countless species as a result of colonizations on a global level.
|Image||Species||Date Extinct||Geographic Region||Cause of Extinction|
|Dodo||1681 AD||Mauritius||Invasive Species|
|Steller’s Sea Cow||1768 AD||North Pacific Ocean||Overhunting|
|Domed Rodrigues Giant Tortoise||1802 AD||Mascarene Islands||Overhunting & Invasive Species|
|Black Moma||1907 AD||Hawaii||Invasive Species|
|Quagga||1883 AD||South Africa||Overhunting|
|Bubal Hartebeest||1923 AD||Northern Africa||Overhunting|
|Passenger Pigeon||1914 AD||North America||Overhunting and Habitat Destruction|
|Tasmanian Tiger||1936 AD||Australia||Overhunting|
|Japanese Sea Lion||1950 AD||Sea of Japan||Overhunting|