Do you remember the Passenger Pigeons? Well, most of us had not even born to witness those incredible species of birds that flocked together in millions over eastern United States and Canada and turned the sky into a dark abode. Over a century ago, millions of these birds got reduced to none and now they are counted among the extinct.
September 1, 2014 will mark the 100th death anniversary of the last passenger pigeon, Martha, which had died at Cincinnati zoo on the same date in 1914, the year which witnessed the complete extinction of this bird species.
Cincinnati zoo still honours the last Passenger Pigeon as its empty cage has been preserved there.
According to the historians, these species of birds reached extinction towards the beginning of 20th century.
Famous writer Mark Avery has written a book ‘A Message from Martha: The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and Its Relevance Today’, in which he has highlighted about these species of bird and what led to their extinction.
Commemorating the incredible species of the bird, Mark has expressed shock and dismay over the loss of bird.
In his book, Avery has highlighted some of the major reasons that led to the extinction of these birds. Above all, deforestation was termed as the major contributor to their extinction.
According to Avery, developmental constructions like rail road construction, telegraph service and better firearms accelerated the extinction process of these pigeons. Adding to the pathetic condition of Passenger pigeons was further human intervention. They started picking these for pigeon pie.
By 1830s, millions of birds were shot down by hundreds of hunters who wanted their flesh for their respective motive. This mass hunting brought their population to dangerously low levels. Some wanted to hunt these pigeons for delicacies, while others hunt them for winning shooting competitions. Last but not the least, they were also hunted by humans just for fun.
“We lost passenger pigeon and much of the rest of North America’s wildlife through ignorance, but we can’t use that excuse today and we still plunder the world’s natural beauty. Now we can see, clearly, what we are doing”, Avery said while concluding his research.
The authors say we should take lesson from the extinction of these incredible species of birds so that we should regulate the human interference in order to retain the beauty of nature.
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