List of extinct animals of Europe

This list of extinct animals in Europe features the animals that have become extinct on the European continent and some in other dependent territories of European countries. While most of the animals in the recent Holocene have a human-caused extinction,[1] Pleistocene extinctions and early Holocene extinctions are contested. Many theories of the cause of their extinction have been presented; some human-caused while others as a product of climate change. The K-T extinction is also contested, with the major cause being either both volcano and meteor or just a meteorite that caused the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs.

Many of the extinct animals were subspecies or color morphs such as the pied raven or disputed species like the tarpan or the gravenche. Most extinctions occurred in prehistoric times. The species gone extinct in the last 500 years were mostly from peripheral regions of Europe like the Caucasus, the North Atlantic or Mediterranean islands. Except for molluscs, the only species extinct in the heartland of Europe in the last 500 years is the aurochs, which survives in the form of primitive cattle breeds that possess similar physical features.

Map of Europe

Prehistoric and earlier extinctions


Common name/scientific name Extinction date Range Image
Balearic giant shrew Nesiotites hidalgo unknown
Spain (the Balearic Islands) --
Balearic Islands cave goat

Myotragus balearicus

3,000 BC Spain (the Balearic Islands) Balearic Islands cave goat
Bison schoetensacki

Bison schoetensacki

Continental Europe Bison schoetensacki skull
Canary Islands giant rats Canariomys bravoi and Canariomys tamarani before 1500
Spain (the Canary Islands) Canary Islands giant rats
Cave bear Ursus spelaeus 27,500 BC
Europe Cave bear
Cave hyena Crocuta crocuta spelaea 11,000 BC
Europe Cave hyena
European Ice Age leopard Panthera pardus spelaea c. 24,000 BC
Eurasian cave lion

Panthera spelaea

10,000 BC
Europe cave lion
Cretan dwarf megacerine Late Pleistocene
Greece (Crete) --
Dwarf elephant unknown
various Mediterranean islands Dwarf elephant
Elasmotherium Elasmotherium sp. 10,000 BC
Europe Elasmotherium sibiricum
European ass Equus hydruntinus Holocene
Europe --
European dhole Cuon alpinus europaeus Holocene
Europe --
European gazelle Gazella borbonica Holocene
Europe --
Giant Deer Megaloceros giganteus 5,000 BC
northern Europe Giant deer
Homotherium Homotherium sp. 10,000 BC
Europe Homotherium
Majorcan giant dormouse Hypnomys morphaeus unknown
Spain (Majorca) --
Maltese hippopotamus Hippopotamus melitensis unknown
Malta --
Minorcan giant dormouse Hypnomys mahonensis unknown
Spain (Minorca) --
Sardinian dhole Cynotherium sardous unknown
France (Corsica) and Italy (Sardinia) --
Steppe bison
Bison priscus
British Isles and continental Europe Steppe wisent
Stephanorhinus Stephanorhinus sp. unknown
Europe Stephanorhinus
Woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius earlier than 10,000 BC
Europe Woolly mammoth
Woolly rhinoceros Coelodonta antiquitatis 10,000 BC
Europe Woolly rhinoceros


Common name/scientific name Extinction date Range Image
Giant swan
Cygnus falconeri
Late Pleistocene
Italy (Sicily) and Malta --
Ibizan rail
Rallus eivissensis
5,000 BC
Spain (the Balearic Islands) --
Cretan owl
Athene cretensis
Late Pleistocene Greece (Crete) --

Recent extinctions


Common name/scientific name Extinction date Range Image
Bos primigenius[3]
Europe (native to Poland) Aurochs
Atlantic gray whale
Eschrichtius robustus
17th Century
North Atlantic (seen in Mediterranean in 2010) Gray whale
Caspian tiger
Panthera tigris tigris, syn. Panthera tigris virgata[4]
Turkey to the Caucasus Mountains Caspian tiger
Caucasian elk
Alces alces caucasicus
the Caucasus Mountains Caucasian moose
Caucasian wisent
Bison bonasus caucasicus
the Caucasus Mountains Caucasian wisent
Carpathian wisent
Bison bonasus hungarorum
the Carpathian Mountains
Panthera leo leo[5][6][7]
1st to 4th century AD - 10th century AD
Balkans - Transcaucasia Lion
Majorcan hare
Lepus granatensis solisi
Spain (Majorca) --
Portuguese ibex
Capra pyrenaica lusitanica
Portugal and Spain Portuguese ibex
Pyrenean ibex
Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica
Andorra, France, Portugal and Spain Pyrenean ibex
Sardinian giant shrew
Nesiotites similis
Italy (Sardinia) --
Saiga antelope
Saiga tatarica
19th century Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine Saiga antelope
Sardinian pika
Prolagus sardus[9]
Italy (Sardinia) Sardinian pika
St. Kilda house mouse
Mus musculus muralis
the United Kingdom (St. Kilda) St Kilda house mouse
Equus ferus ferus
Europe Tarpan


Common name/scientific name Extinction date Range Image
Great auk
Pinguinus impennis
Iceland and the northern European coast Great auk
Pied raven
Corvus corax varius morpha leucophaeus
Denmark (the Faroe Islands) Pied raven


Common name/scientific name Extinction date Range Image
Ratas Island lizard
Podarcis lilfordi rodriquezi
Spain (Minorca) --
Roque Chico de Salmor giant lizard
Gallotia simonyi simonyi
Spain (the Canary Islands) Roque Chico de Salmor giant lizard
Santo Stefano lizard
Podarcis sicula sanctistephani
Italy (Santo Stefano Island) --


Common name/scientific name Extinction date Range Image
Chondrostoma scodrense[10] late 19th century
Albania and Montenegro --
Coregonus bezola[11] 1960s
Lac du Bourget, France --
Coregonus fera[12] 1950
France and Switzerland --
Coregonus restrictus[13] 1890
Lake Morat, Switzerland --
Coregonus hiemalis[14]
France and Switzerland Gravenche
Coregonus oxyrinchus[15]
Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom Houting
Lake Constance whitefish
Coregonus gutturosus[16]
Austria, Germany and Switzerland Lake Constance whitefish
Danube delta gudgeon[17] 1890
the Lower Danube, Romania and Ukraine --
Salvelinus neocomensis[18] 1904
Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland --
Techirghiol stickleback
Gasterosteus crenobiontus[19]
Lake Techirghiol, Romania --
Ukrainian migratory lamprey
Eudontomyzon sp. nov. 'migratory'[20]
Moldova, Russia and Ukraine --


Common name/scientific name Extinction date Range Image
Madeiran large white
Pieris brassicae wollastoni[21]
Portugal (Madeira) Madeiran large white
British large copper
Lycaena dispar dispar[22]
Silver-studded blue subsp. masseyi
Plebejus argus masseyi[23]
1940s England (Cumbria and Lancashire)
Scarce large blue subsp. burdigalensis
Phengaris teleius burdigalensis
? France
Perrin's cave beetle
Siettitia balsetensis[24]
France --
Tobias' caddisfly
Hydropsyche tobiasi[25]
Germany --

Sea anemones

Common name/scientific name Extinction date Range Image
Ivell's sea anemone
Edwardsia ivelli [26]
Widewater Lagoon, the United Kingdom --


22 species and three subspecies of gastropods have become extinct in Europe since 1500.[27] No species of bivalves are known to have become extinct in Europe after 1500.[27]

See also