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One of the sad realities of climate change and the constant expansion of the human race across the planet is that we can’t help but impact the wildlife around us. While some extinctions in the animal kingdom can be attributed to natural selection and other nature-related causes, almost all the animal species lost now are either directly or indirectly related to human activity.

First, a spot of good news: 2018 was actually a pretty conservative year in terms of the number of species lost to extinction, and some endangered species like fin whales and mountain gorillas are actually gaining in number (however, the extinction rate is still currently 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the natural rate).

Now onto the unfortunate animal losses, scientists report three types of exotic bird species can no longer be found in the wild and two other animals — the vaquita (a dolphin-like marine mammal) and the white rhino — are on the brink of extinction.

Po’ouli

The birds include the po’ouli (or black-faced honeycreeper), a bird native to Maui, Hawaii which was only discovered in 1981 and has since declined dramatically. Scientists have been concerned about losing this bird since 2004 and conservation efforts weren’t enough to save it.

Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner and Cryptic Treehunter

The Alagoas foliage-gleaner and cryptic treehunter are two very similar species from Brazil and they could only be found in two specific areas of forest. Deforestation has been a major player in the endangerment of these birds, and since their discovery in 1975 they have never not been on the “critically endangered” list.

Spix’s Macaw

The final species thought to be completely extinct in the wild last year is Spix’s macaw — yes, the blue bird from Rio. Looks like the movie was pretty accurate after all — with only an estimated 60 to 80 still living in captivity, breeding is the only option for bringing this species back from the brink.

White Rhino

The white rhino has been well-known to be on the brink of extinction for a while with aggressive hunting and poaching practices diminishing the species drastically. Since the last male northern white rhino died in March 2018, there are only two known living northern white rhinos who are both female and unable to reproduce naturally (although there’s some hope for artificial insemination). There are more of the southern variety living in nature but they are also critically endangered.

White Rhino
JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Vaquita

The final species in the most trouble heading into 2019 is the vaquita, a relative of the dolphin, native to the northern Gulf of California. The vaquita’s most deadly threat are gillnets used by illegal fishing operations, where the animals are often entangled and killed. World Wildlife Fund estimates there are only 30 left in existence.

Vaquita
Shutterstock