n. An animal or other species that is the last of its kind.
Unfortunately, there is no end of endlings. One of the world’s three surviving northern white rhinos will soon become an endling, as will one of the thirty surviving vaquita porpoises, down from sixty just last year.
—Michelle Nijhuis, “What Do You Call the Last of a Species?,” The New Yorker, March 02, 2017
Jay Mazoomdaar’s The Age Of Endlings is a book that attempts to give form to this loss, to the battles being waged at human-nature borders…He uses his journeys, he admits, to illustrate the loneliness of the last of a kind, what he calls the Endlings.
—Padmaparna Ghosh, “Book review: The Age Of Endlings,” Mint, July 01, 2016
A new word 'endling' has been coined to describe an individual which is the last of its species. There are too many recorded tragedies of endlings who issued mating calls, but there was no one left to answer them.
—Dr. Asad Zaman, “Ecological suicide,” The Express Tribune, July 27, 2015
1996 (earliest)
There is a need for a word in taxonomy, and in medical genealogical, scientific, biological and other literature, that does not occur in the English or any other language. We need a word to designate the last person, animal or other species in his/her/its lineage…We therefore propose that 'endling' be adopted to designate a person or one of a species that is the last of a lineage in his/her/its line. We are already using it when appropriate.
—Robert M. Webster & Bruce Erickson, “The last word?,” Nature, April 04, 1996