The 10 most recent animal extinctions in Canada

These creatures have either died out entirely or are extirpated from Canada

The greater prairie chicken is now extinct due to hunting and habitat loss. (Rebecca Jackrel/Getty)

These creatures have either died out entirely or are extirpated from Canada, meaning they no longer can be found in this country, but have survived elsewhere:

1. Hadley Lake stickleback (1999): A fish that was only found in Hadley Lake on Lasqueti Island in B.C.’s Strait of Georgia, the stickleback had only been discovered in the 1980s, but was completely wiped out by the introduction of catfish.

2. Karner blue (1991): A small blue butterfly that existed in the area between Toronto, London and Sarnia, the Karner blue no longer exists in Canada due to habitat change and loss of the larva’s only food source, the wild lupine.

3. Frosted elfin (1988): Another butterfly, the frosted elfin was only discovered in 1960 and the population may have only ever numbered 100. But they’re all gone from Canada now due to habitat loss.

4. Greater prairie chicken (1987): Once abundant in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, this large grouse, known for the bright orange featherless patch on its neck, vanished from Canada due to hunting and habitat loss.

5. Banff longnose dace (1986): The tiny freshwater fish only existed in a marsh in Banff National Park. It was done in by the introduction of tropical fish, chlorine leaking from a pool and a beaver dam.

UPDATED: The black footed ferret disappeared from Alberta and Saskatchewan in the early 20th century, but was reintroduced in Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park in 2009. A Sept. 2012 count found at least 12 of the cute little guys in the park. Here’s the video evidence.

6. Black-footed ferret (1974): Little is known about this particular type of weasel but it’s believed to now be extinct in Canada.

7. Striped bass (c. 1968) (St. Lawrence Estuary population): Fished out of existence, there are efforts to reintroduce the species.

8. Blue walleye (1965): Once a common fish in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, it was overfished out of existence. The last confirmed blue walleye to be caught was nearly half a century ago.

9. Lake Ontario kiyi (1964): A deepwater fish, it is now extinct from overfishing.

10. Greater sage-grouse (1960s): Once common across the Prairies and B.C., this bird, known for its elaborate courtship rituals, has vanished from Canada.

Sources: Statistics canada (2010); committee on the Status of endangered Wildlife in Canada; Canadian biodiversity website
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The 10 most recent animal extinctions in Canada

  1. A creature is either extinct or it isn’t. It cannot be extinct in Canada, though it may be extirpated in Canada.

  2. Not a well done list. Number 6 is by no means extinct. In fact, it is often seen in the Nepean Carleton area and even downtown Ottawa. Plenty of evidence it loves its own voice and likes getting its picture taken.

  3. the greater prairie chicken is not extinct. there are current 2013 photos of them online.

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