The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Nostalgic tourism posters highlight the wildlife you’ll never, ever see

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Take a trip to India and you might be able to spot tigers in the wild. Fly to Canada and you can watch polar bears amble across a wintry landscape.

For now, that is.

Both tigers and polar bears, as well as lots of other familiar animals, are in danger of going extinct. If that happens, tourists of the future won’t include those iconic animals on their must-see lists. To underscore this depressing fact, Expedia UK created fictional travel posters that feature animals that are already gone for good and, the company says, that we “are in danger of forgetting.”

Steller’s sea cow: This giant, grazing mammal, a relative of manatees, was hunted to extinction by 1768.

Golden toad: The jewel-like golden toad lived in just one tiny patch of Costa Rican cloud forest. The last one was seen in 1989, and researchers think global warming, decreased rainfall or possibly a fungal infection caused its extinction.

Jamaica giant galliwasp: Introduced predators, such as mongooses, killed off this lizard species. It was last seen in 1840.

Dodo: Sailors who landed on Mauritius had eaten these flightless, docile — and, at least by reputation, dumb — birds to extinction by 1662.

Were dodos as dumb as they looked? New research suggests otherwise.

Moa: Another flightless bird, these herbivores could grow to be 12 feet tall. They had been hunted to extinction by the 15th century.

Thylacine: Also known as a Tasmanian tiger, this street-dog-size animal had a stiff, catlike tail, a pouch on its belly and stripes on its back and rear that resembled a tiger’s. Hunting, invasive species and habitat loss led to its demise in 1936.

The Tasmanian tiger went extinct 80 years ago today. But that took decades to figure out.

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