All around the world, across habitats, across taxa and for all kinds of reasons, once-discovered species have fallen off our radar. These lost species are animals or plants that have gone unseen for years or decades and are feared possibly extinct. In collaboration with more than 100 scientists, Global Wildlife Conservation has compiled a list of 1,200 species of animals and plants that are missing to science. We have teased from this list the top 25 “most wanted” species in the world. Quirky, charismatic and elusive, these species are global flagships for conservation:

Lost Species Top 25 poster

The Search for Lost Species is a collaborative effort and we are grateful to our close strategic partner the Turtle Conservancy. Want to become a strategic partner? Want to look for one of the hundreds of lost species that scientists nominated for expeditions? Want to look for one of the hundreds of lost species that scientists nominated for expeditions? Want to add species not yet listed here? Contact us at


From the dark depths of the ocean to the bottom of running freshwater rivers, from the lush jungles of the tropics, to the seemingly barren wastelands of the desert, the Search for Lost Species will explore some of the most remote and uncharted wild places on Earth. Over the coming months we are raising support to send these expeditions in search of lost species, and you can help get our teams out into the field. Make a donation, become a corporate sponsor of the initiative or sponsor a specific expedition, report an observation, or partner with us. Follow the search on  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Want to learn more? Read the Lost Species FAQ and/or contact us at

Lost Spots Map


The Search for Lost Species is a campaign of Global Wildlife Conservation, an Austin-based organization that conserves the diversity of life on Earth by preserving wildlands, restoring wildlife and engaging with global guardians. GWC has worked to conserve wildlife in more than 40 countries, helped establish more than 20 new nature reserves, and protected more than 100 endangered species and 20,000 species overall.

The Search for Lost Species would not be possible without the collaboration of more than 100 scientists to date, local conservation organizations worldwide and support from our close partner the Turtle Conservancy.


Losing a species is akin to losing a beautiful, irreplaceable, priceless work of art. Meet renowned artists who have been inspired to create lost species artwork for the campaign.

“I think on a certain level the reason I make my work is that if I’m in the city I long for those places. I long to be more connected to my, if you want to call it, evolutionary history”

— Alexis Rockman



“Much of my work inhabits realms beyond the quantifiable… and finding beauty of the unknowable in nature–the spaces between fact and folklore, science and myth, real and imagined. The same space in which these lost species exist–both of the mind and of the world.”

— James Prosek


Pink Headed Duck


The Search for Lost Species will generate stories of discovery, rediscovery, adventure and hope. If you’re a reporter, producer, editor or correspondent at a news outlet and want to cover the Search for Lost Species, please be in touch:

Robin Moore, GWC director of communications,

Lindsay Renick Mayer, GWC associate director of communications, or 202-422-4671


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