Passenger Pigeon Comeback?

Carol Flanagan passed along a link to a  article about a plan to bring the Passenger Pigeon back from extinction.

Here's a sample:  "The technical challenges are immense, and the ethical questions are slippery. But as genetic technology races ahead, a scenario that’s hard to imagine is becoming harder to dismiss out of hand.

"About 1,500 passenger pigeons inhabit museum collections. They are all that’s left of a species once perceived as a limitless resource. The birds were shipped in boxcars by the tons, sold as meat for 31 cents per dozen, and plucked for mattress feathers.

"But in a mere 25 years, the population shrank from billions to thousands as commercial hunters decimated nesting flocks. Martha, the last living bird, took her place under museum glass in 1914."

The link is here.

Note: A taxidermy Passenger Pigeon is part of a display in DeKorte Park's Meadowlands Environment Center.

One thought on “Passenger Pigeon Comeback?

  1. Ian Garrison

    It’ll be tough, especially given that *Ectopistes* was a monotypic species, and that it was much, much larger than its closest relatives. Not to mention the sheer speed with which DNA decays. However, a little luck and a lot of funding might make it. If we’re lucky. I know that southern gastric brooding frogs *Rheobatrachus silus* were recently cloned; unfortunately, the embryos failed to make past a week of development, but cloning nevertheless has proven partially successful.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *