Chatham Bellbird – It Was Very Good

Chatham Bellbird
Chatham Bellbird – Charles Joseph Hullmandel, 1843

Chatham Bellbird (Anthornis melanocephala)

The Chatham Bellbird is an extinct species of bird endemic to the Chatham, Mangere, and Little Mangere Islands of New Zealand. The Chatham was related to the common New Zealand Bellbird. Chathams were larger than their New Zealand counterparts and had particularly long wings and legs. The head color of Chatham males also was darker. Finally, the bright yellow iris of Chatham bellbirds was completely different from the red iris color of New Zealand bellbirds

The Chatham Island bellbird was green with a short, curved bill, slightly forked tail. Adult males were olive green, slightly paler on the underparts, with the forehead and crown steel blue, changing to a purplish-blue gloss on the sides of the head, nape, throat, and upper breast; the wings and tail were blackish. Females were browner, with a narrow white-yellow stripe across the cheek from the base of the bill, and bluish gloss on top of the head. Both sexes had bright yellow eyes.

Chatham Bellbird
Chatham Bellbird specimens

The Chatham Bellbird was last recorded on Little Mangere Island in 1906. An expedition in the 1930s was unable to find any specimens.

The reasons for its decline are obscure, but a combination of habitat destruction, predation by introduced rats and cats, and over-collection for the museum trade is suspected.

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Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse – It Was Very Good

Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse
Cotton Deermouse, R. W. Van Devender

Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus restrictus)

The Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse was a subspecies of Cotton Deermouse endemic to the Manasota Key peninsula in Florida. The subspecies is only known from a few sample speciments collected in the 1930s.

The Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse was smaller and paler than the parent species; being about 7 inches in length with a cinnamon colored coat.

The animal is considered extinct after extensive surveys in 1984, 1985, 1988, and 1989 failed to find any specimens in the wild. Deforestation of its habitat, maritime forests and predation by feral cats are likely contributors to extinction.

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Cebu Warty Pig – It Was Very Good

Cebu Warty Pig
Cebu Warty Pig

Cebu Warty Pig (Sus cebifrons cebifrons)

The Cebu Warty Pig was a subspecies of the Visayan Warty Pig. The Visayan Warty Pig is endemic to the Philippine Islands, though it is now extinct on four of the major six.  The Cebu Warty was restricted to the island of Cebu.

Warty pigs have medium-sized, barrel-shaped bodies and short legs. They have short necks, longish heads, small eyes, prominent snouts, and tusks. Males generally have both larger tusks and warts than females and are much larger in size and weight. Sparse bristles cover their bodies, dark gray or black in females and young males, and silvery or light-brown in adult males.

Warty pigs receive their name from the three pairs of fleshy “warts” present on the face of the boar.

Cebu Warty Pig
A Visayan Warty Pig, closest relative of the Cebu Warty Pig – Cincinnati Zoo

The Cebu Warty Pig was driven to extinction by loss of habitat due to commercial logging and agricultural expansion and overhunting.

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Caucasian Wisent – It Was Very Good

Caucasian Wisent
Caucasian Wisent (E. K. Yutner, 1900s.)

Caucasian Wisent(Bison bonasus caucasicus)

The Caucasian Wisent was a subspecies of the European Wisent, or bison, native to the Caucasus Mountains of Eastern Europe. This subspecies of wisent. No secure resources describing the differences between this subspecies and the European bison exist.

Caucasian Wisent
A killed Caucasian Wisent from E. Demidoff’s ‘Hunting Trips in The Caucasus’ (1889).

Loss of habitat, overhunting, and illegal poaching all lead to the extinction of the Caucasian wisent. Human settlement in the Caucasus Mountains intensified in the 18th century and the range of the Caucasian wisent became reduced to about one tenth of its original range by the end of the 19th century. In the 1860s the population numbered about 2000 but was reduced to only 500 or 600 by 1917, and the population was further reduced to only 50 animals in 1921. The last three known wild Caucasian bison were killed in 1927. Captive purebred Caucasian bison lived and bred to create hybrids, until about the 1930s.

The offspring of these hybrids (various strains of European bison bred with the American bison) were reintroduced to Eastern Europe in the latter half of the 2oth century.

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