TOKYO, Japan (CBS) -- The Japanese otter was declared extinct in Japan on Tuesday (August 28) when the Japanese environment ministry updated its list of endangered or extinct animals known as the "red list," local media said.
Hunted for its fur, its numbers dropped drastically and the last time it was spotted in Honshu, the main island of Japan, was in 1979, local media reported.
The Environment Ministry has not received reports of its existence in over 30 years ago and therefore added the Japanese otter to the list of extinct animals.
"We take it very seriously that the species has become extinct. As the environment ministry, there is a need to work hard to improve the protection of wild animals," said Environment Minister Goshi Hosono.
This is the first time a mammal has been declared extinct in Japan since 1925, local media said.