9 Animal Species That Have Come Back From the Brink of Extinction

Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi)

Once on the brink of extinction with only 15 left in 2002, the blue iguana s population has rebounded thanks to a breeding program initiated by Cambridge University student Fred Burton in the 1980s.

Gould's Mouse: Rediscovered

Long thought extinct, Gould s mouse was rediscovered in 2021 when scientists found that the Shark Bay mouse is genetically identical. With just 2,000 left, ecological restoration initiatives like the Return to 1616 project aim to ensure its survival.

Red Kite s UK Revival

Red kites were wiped out in England and Scotland by the late 19th century. Conservation efforts, including reintroductions from Spain and Germany, have led to a significant recovery, making them one of the UK's fastest increasing species.

Northern Pool Frog s Secret Return

Extinct in England by 1995, the northern pool frog was reintroduced in a secret project starting in 2005. Frogs from Sweden have helped establish a thriving population in Norfolk s Thompson Common, their last known habitat.

American and European Bison Recovery

Both American and European bison faced near extinction due to hunting and habitat loss. Conservation efforts have successfully reintroduced these iconic animals.

Chequered Skipper Butterfly s Flight in England

The chequered skipper butterfly, extinct in England since 1976, has been successfully reintroduced through conservation efforts in 2018. Monitoring shows the species is recovering well, with community engagement playing a key role.

Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber)

Hunted to extinction in the UK by the 16th century, Eurasian beavers are making a comeback through reintroduction programs. Wild beavers spotted in 2013 led to successful releases across the UK, helping restore wetlands and reduce flooding.

Rarotonga Flycatcher (Pomarea dimidiata)

Native to the Cook Islands, the Rarotonga flycatcher was nearly extinct due to invasive species. The Kakerori Recovery Programme has helped increase its numbers to over 400, with populations spreading to nearby islands.

Spix's Macaw: Back from Extinction

Declared extinct in the wild by 2000, Spix's macaw returned to its native Brazil in 2022. A captive-breeding program successfully reintroduced eight macaws to the wild, supported by Illiger's macaws to help them adapt and survive.