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Extinct in the Wild

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Picture showing Extinct in the Wild with other IUCN categories.

Extinct in the Wild (EW) is a conservation status given to a species, a group of plants or animals, when the only known living members are being kept in captivity (kept in a zoo, or planted in pots), or they are no longer living in their normal habitat.

Conservation status
Risk of extinction

Extinct in the Wild


Critically Endangered

Lower risk

Conservation Dependent
Near Threatened
Least Concern

See also

World Conservation Union
IUCN Red List

Species examples

Examples of such animals include:


Reintroduction is the release of species back into the wild. They come from captivity or moved from other areas where the species survives. It usually involves species that are endangered or extinct in the wild.

It is very hard to reintroduce EW species into the wild, even if their natural habitats were fixed. The main reason may be that the survival skills, which are passed from parents to offspring during parenting, are lost. In other words, the genetics of the species are saved, but the natural skills of the species are lost.