The Passenger Pigeon: a modern-day phoenix in the making?

The Passenger Pigeon: a modern-day phoenix in the making?

Like the mythical phoenix, passenger pigeons might soon rise up from the ashes and flourish across the North American sky if a group of scientists are successful in cloning the bird.

I’m not sure if there is any bird with a more awe-inspiring and with a more tragic story than the passenger pigeon. This is a species that went from being the most abundant bird on the planet in the 1800’s to completely extinct in 1914. It’s a little bit mysterious how it all happened, but the extinction was likely due to a combination of over-hunting (for food and recreation) and habitat loss. Some people were so surprised by the decline of the pigeons that they speculated that they had all flown into the Bermuda triangle (I guess we can’t prove it didn’t happen).

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Why study introduced species?

Why study introduced species?

I’ve always been interested in community ecology: the study of the organization and interactions within a group of organisms (predation, herbivory, symbiosis).  Interactions within a biological community fluctuate around equilibrium until they are disturbed...

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