100 years ago today, Martha, the last Passenger pigeon in the world died.
To mark the hundredth anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon I would like to provide some excerpts from Project Passenger Pigeon. Please visit their website and their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPassengerPigeon to read their message and help in the fight against species extinction.
Passenger Pigeons Were Unlike Any Other Bird in the World in at Least Three Important Ways
The Passenger Pigeon was a bird solely of North America, with the vast majority inhabiting a region from the Gulf States to Hudson’s Bay, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the upper Missouri River. Three things made them unique in all the world:
- they were the most abundant bird of the continent, if not the world: no one knows for sure how many there were but the most careful figure offered ranges from a low of three billion to a high of five billion individuals;
- they aggregated in numbers that darkened the sky for as much as three days: individual flights might have exceeded two billion birds; and
- in literally decades, human actions reduced this incredible bounty to zero, when on September 1, 1914, the last of the species died. Given that it is extinct, very little was known about its relationships to other birds until recently.
“Passenger Pigeon wood carving by Mike Ford, on display at Chippewa Nature Center, Midland, MI.
“No photograph of a living passenger pigeon in the wild has yet been found.”
- Photo and excerpt from: http://passengerpigeon.org/differentpigeon.html
Mission Statement of Project Passenger Pigeon
2014 marks the centenary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. Numbering in the billions in 1800, the last bird died on September 1, 1914; driven to extinction by human activity.
Project Passenger Pigeon is an international effort to commemorate this anniversary and use it not only as an opportunity to familiarize people with this remarkable species, but also to raise awareness of current issues related to human-caused extinction, explore connections between humans and the natural world, and inspire people to become more involved in building a sustainable relationship with other species.How Everyone Can Get Involved
Project Passenger Pigeon is about reaching as many people as possible in our efforts to tell the compelling story of the passenger pigeon and to present current issues related to extinction, the relationship of people to nature, and how we can proceed in a more sustainable way.
To help bring that about, the Project has created, and is in the process of creating, a wide range of scientifically and historically accurate media resources that will make it easy for organizations to participate in this effort.