Flightless birds: when did the dodo become extinct? Academic Article uri icon


  • The extinction of the dodo (Raphus cucullatus L.; Fig. 1) is commonly dated to the last confirmed sighting in 1662, reported by Volkert Evertsz on an islet off Mauritius. By this time, the dodo had become extremely rare - the previous sighting having been 24 years earlier - but the species probably persisted unseen beyond this date. Here we use a statistical method to establish the actual extinction time of the dodo as 1690, almost 30 years after its most recent sighting.

publication date

  • November 20, 2003