Extinct and Endangered Appalachian Animals

Visuals and text for a Twitter series on extinct or endangered species in Appalachia. Created for the website Expatalachians.

Passenger Pigeon:

Martha was the last passenger pigeon when she died at the venerable age of 29 in 1914.

Just 50 years before then, passenger pigeons flocked together by the billions, at one point making up to 40 percent of the wild bird population in America.

Carolina Parakeet:

Incas, a Carolina parakeet held in captivity, was the last of his species when he died in 1918.

His life ended in the same cage as the last passenger pigeon, Martha, who passed away 4 years prior.

Eastern Elk:

Eastern elk used to be called wapitis by Native Americans. They roamed throughout the Allegheny and Appalachian Mountains, but were hunted to extinction by 1880, according the the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Eastern Cougar:

The eastern cougar has likely been extinct for eight decades. Scientists now say North American cougars are too genetically similar to be considered separate species, but an entire population still disappeared.

White-tailed deer:

White-tailed deer are abundant in the Eastern U.S., but “unrelenting pressure from the white man” once brought deer populations to an all-time low in the South, scattering herds to remote corners of their habitat. What a comeback!

Endangered Woodland Bison:

George Washington once killed Kanawha Valley bison in West Virginia, but about 55 years later, they could no longer be found in the state. All bison had been removed from the eastern U.S. by the 1830s.

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