1New Guinea Highland Wild Dogs (New Guinea)
Scientists have "definitive proof" of what appears to be a healthy population of formerly extinct New Guinea highland wild dogs.
After spotting canine paw prints in the mud during a 2016 expedition, researchers set up trail cameras and bait throughout the region and within just a few days, at least 15 individuals— including a pregnant female and pups—showed up.
For more than 50 years, scientists have been unable to confirm the dogs' existence, causing many to fear they'd gone extinct. They are said to be the "rarest, most ancient canid" in the world today.
2Tasmanian Tiger (Australia)
It hasn't yet been caught on camera, but multiple Tasmanian tiger sightings are flowing in from everyday citizens in Australia. Not that big a deal, except the last one died in captivity in the 1940s.
The animal isn't a tiger, and—despite looking very much like a species of dog—isn't of canine lineage either, but is a carnivorous marsupial. Australians have occasionally claimed to have seen the legendary animal over the years, but sightings were typically rare and were later attributed to nothing more than misidentification. Today, however, "plausible sightings" are beginning to give life to the theory that the animal never actually went extinct at all.
Now, Queensland, Australia scientists are jumping on the bandwagon. They plan to set up cameras in areas where reported sightings have taken place in hopes of confirming the claims.
3Red-Faced Liocichla (Nepal)
The red-faced liocichla (Liocichla phoenicea) hasn't been seen in eastern Nepal for 178 years and was thought to be locally extinct. However, it was recently spotted by a group of ornithologists on a 10-day bird watching tour.
The bird-watching group originally saw only two red-faced liocichlas, but when they returned the next day, they saw eight birds, including a male-female pair.
4Spotted Tree Frog (Australia)
Thought to be extinct in the wild more than 15 years ago, the spotted tree frog has made a comeback in Kosciuszko National Park, in New South Wales, Australia. The species is one of hundreds around the world that have been decimated by the amphibian chytrid fungus, regarded as the "kryptonite of frogs."
The last remaining frogs were removed from Kosciuszko in 2001 and bred in captivity before being released back into the wild, but the first attempt re-establish them failed when they were again wiped out by the fungus. Three years ago, they were relocated to a new, very remote site that they had never previously inhabited and now appear to be thriving!
5Sockeye Salmon (New Zealand)
If you visit the Mackenzie Basin on New Zealand's South Island anytime soon, you may just catch a rare glimpse of hundreds of dancing sockeye salmon bursting out of the water as spawning season gets under way. What's so unusual about that, you may ask? Well, the southern hemisphere's only population of the fish were thought to be extinct in the '80s, but they now scramble up the riverbed in search of the perfect spot to lay their eggs.
There are believed to be about 1000 spawning fish in just one of Lake Pukaki's tributary streams this year, so go check 'em out, but don't interrupt them—they are protected under New Zealand's Conservation Act.
6Little Brown Bats (USA)
New York State's little brown bats, once on the edge of extinction, are now making a comeback.
In years past, while in hibernation, a fungus silently attached itself to the bats, sapping them of their strength, wounding their wings and causing the mammals to wake from their winter torpor, only to die of starvation, thirst or exhaustion. The fungus grew around their noses and mouths and on their wings and came to be known as "white-nose syndrome."
Over the next few years, 90% or more of the little brown bats succumbed to white-nose. Today, less than 10 percent of the population remains, but "the survival rate is back to normal," according to MacKenzie Hall, the wildlife biologist who heads the Division of Fish and Wildlife's bat program. She also said, however, "It could be 30, 40 years before the population is back to where it was before white-nose."
7Chinese River Dolphin (China)
Ten years after scientists declared the Chinese river dolphin extinct, the species has made a possible comeback, according to amateur conservationists. The sighting has yet to be confirmed by scientists, and the team who witnessed it didn't have time take photos that could be studied in more detail. Regardless, the search for the rare dolphin is on!
The baiji, or "goddess of the Yangtze," was a species of white river dolphin that was abundant for around 20 million years before it was wiped out by hunting and pollution. Back in the 1950s, there were thousands of baijis living in the Yangtze, Asia's longest river. But during the Great Famine, millions of starving Chinese people under Mao Zedong's rule resorted to eating the species in order to survive.
While this cousin to the weasel, otter, and mink is not necessarily extinct, it hasn't been seen in Iowa since the 1800s—that is, until November 2016 when one was caught on camera.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a trail camera photo has confirmed the fisher's presence. Officials believe this one hails from from southeast Minnesota.
The fisher is a carnivore and has few predators, outside of humans. If you come across one, do yourself a favor and keep your distance—they can be pretty fierce.
9Indochinese Tigers (Thailand)
A population of rare Indochinese tigers made a rare appearance in a national park in eastern Thailand with at least six cubs in tow. This means the group has come back from the brink and is successfully breeding.
After poaching and loss of habitat obliterated the tigers' population to less than 250 (a century ago, there were about 100,000 individuals roaming in the wild), scientists only knew of one other small breeding population before this discovery. Conservationists credit the country's improved anti-poaching efforts for the achievement.
10Beer Slug (Germany)
The beer slug hasn't been seen in Germany since before the Beatles played Hamburg—scratch that, since before they were BORN—but, in April 2017, one was seen in the city's infamous red light district for the first time in 80 years.
The creature, found in moist basements where beer was brewed, was last spotted in 1935 and experts believed the species had become extinct. It was commonly found in the 19th-century, but numbers started to decline due to the destruction of Hamburg's more unhygienic brewing spots.