show longnow.org menu

Candidates

Criteria are emerging for determining which animal species are possible candidates for de-extinction, genetic rescue, or genetic assistance. The animals pictured below may meet some or all of these criteria.

De-extinction is an emerging discipline focusing developing technologies in medicine and agriculture towards conservation of endangered and even extinct species. Any extinct animal is a potential candidate for de-extinction that could be selected by a scientific research team for a future project.

In the left column below is a selection of a few of the extinct species from the past 10,000 years that could be considered for a de-extinction project. Some species are great candidates and some are poor candidates for various reasons — some do not qualify for the technical process of de-extinction. To be a plausible de-extinction candidate a species has to meet the de-extinction criteria. We invite you to enter your own answers to these questions for many of the De-extinction candidate species (below, left) through our own criteria checklist poll and email us your results.

Each image is a link to the candidate’s Wikipedia page or information about the organization pursuing the candidate’s de-extinction.

Candidate Species for De-extinction:

BIRDS OF AMERICAS

cuban_red_macaw

Cuban red macaw

Ivory_billed_woodpecker

Ivory billed woodpecker

imperial_woodpecker

Imperial woodpecker

Heath_Hens

Heath hens

Labrador duck

Labrador duck

LARGE FLIGHTLESS BIRDS

Dodo

Dodo

GreatAuk

Great Auk

Upland_Moa

New Zealand giant moa

elephant_bird

Madagascar elephant bird

PACIFIC ISLAND BIRDS

Huia

Huia (New Zealand)

Moho_braccatus

O’o (Hawaii)

PLEISTOCENE MEGAFAUNA

Wooly_Mammoth-RBC

Woolly mammoth

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Woolly rhinoceros

Irish elk

Irish elk

AMPHIBIANS

gbfrog-Rheobatrachus_silus

Gastric-brooding Frog

PLANTS

Paschalococos_disperta_palm

Easter Island palm

INSECTS

Xerces_Blue

Xerces blue butterfly

AFRICAN ANIMALS

Quagga

Quagga (plains zebra)

EUROPEAN ANIMALS

vig_aurochs_gray_by_phan_tom-d64mh39-4

Auroch

Pyrenean_Ibex

Pyrenean ibex (bucardo)

Thylacinus_cynocephalus

Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger)

SEA MAMMALS

steller's_sea_cow

Steller’s sea cow

caribbean_monk_seal

Caribbean monk seal

Candidate Species for Genetic Assistance:

BIRDS

602px-Corvus_hawaiiensis_FWS

Hawaiian Crow

120px-Prairie_Chicken-Attwater's

Attwater’s Prairie Chicken

120px-Amakihi

Hawaiian honeycreeper

93px-Nipponia_nippon_1838

Crested Ibis

80px-New_Zealand_Kakapo_Felix

New Zealand Kakapo

NEW WORLD ANIMALS

Black-footed_Ferret_001

Black-footed ferret

300px-Bufo_periglenes2

Amphibians

220px-Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus

Bats

Golden Lion Tamarin

Golden Lion Tamarin

AFRICAN ANIMALS

600px-Cheetah

Cheetah

621px-PLoSONE-NorthernWhiteRhino-SuniNabire

Northern White Rhino

Hirola

Hirola

CHINESE & SOUTHEAST ASIAN ANIMALS

250px-Rhinoceros_sondaicus_in_London_Zoo

Javan rhinoceros

Sumatran_rhinoceros_four_days_old

Sumatran rhinoceros

120px-Rafetus_Leloii

Yangtze giant softshell turtle

ANIMALS OF ARABIAN PENINSULA

Arabian Oryx

Arabian Oryx

AUSTRALIAN ANIMALS

200px-Haarnasenwombat_(Lasiorhinus_krefftii)

Wombat

120px-IMG_0572_tasmanian_devil

Tasmanian devil