pigeon control

Extinct Species: Passenger Pigeon

We often think that pigeons are so abundant in earth such that they are capable of flocking and swarming in places. Their sheer numbers could quite often lead to problems to many people, especially when they distract many of the daily human activities. In lieu of that, we came up with many different ways and methods to deal with them and even kill them. But what we do not know is that, not all pigeon species are abundant on earth and when we do eradicate them, we risk the chance of eradicating a pigeon species that are apparently almost running out. This species of pigeon is the passenger pigeon. An almost extinct species of pigeon that no matter how significantly dwindling they are in numbers, they still crossover to human boundaries without inhibition and risking themselves to be target practice subjects by some trigger happy human beings.

An important consideration to anyone who wishes to deal with pigeon problems is that it doesn't necessarily mean that if you are allowed to do one thing, you might as well do it. For example, using lethal methods in dealing with pigeons are often allowed in certain states. However, such actions could significantly reduce an entire species of birds and thus would lead to the brink of extinction. In place of these methods, we could use the humane means in controlling pigeons. Despite being proven to be very effective, they also safeguard the wellbeing of the species of pigeons all throughout the world. This has to be the course of action of everyone and not with those lethal methods. We can't just be trigger happy in killing pigeons just because they infringe our peaceful living. To think, they too are just finding their means to exist and it is not that they deliberately wanted to pester humans in their territories. We can always live harmoniously with them and as well all the species of creatures all over the world. To kill these creatures by mere impulse is simply a crime against nature that must not be condoned.

The Passenger Pigeon

(c) britannica.hk
The passenger pigeon is an almost extinct species of pigeons on earth. However, ironically speaking, they were the most abundant species of bird before, and that time isn't that of a long time ago. They are so abundant that they significantly outnumber the combination of the different species of very common birds that fly around. This was before.

One could almost barely imagine the possibility of passenger pigeons becoming endangered and even extinct to certain wild areas, when the sheer population of these birds alone could outnumber even the entire population of individuals living in North America as well. And this time was still somewhere around 1800, which indicates that their extinction was brought about in a not so very distant time span. It begs the question, what could have happened back then that has caused their rapid decrease in number such that they were even brought to the brink of eradication. Martha, the name of one of the last birds of this species, died in captivity in Cincinnati Zoo around 1914.

Would you believe, that before they have become decimated, a single of passenger pigeons could actually be comprised of 2 million members or even more and there's more than just one flock of these pigeons that inhabit US that time?

A scientist, John J. Audubon, described the phenomena of these birds migrating as the darkest cloud. When they migrated, they could darken the skies of three straight days just by their sheer numbers.

(c) abdn.ac.uk
Passenger pigeons are known to inhabit the deciduous forests of North America, and they could inhabit an area of 20 miles across. They are so many that these forests would often be left destroyed as many of its trees' branches broke because of the weight of the huge number of passenger pigeons that could sit down in one tree. Yet ironically, we could barely see one at all.

Perhaps the primary contributor to the close extinction of this pigeon species was the massive hunt for their meat for commercial purposes. Their meat is often desired by most of the Euro-American settlers of that time. Of course with their multitude, hunters often find themselves trigger happy about killing the birds knowing that there would be enough left to spare. Their numbers have also made these birds as easy targets and they are even hunted in massive numbers. The means of capturing the birds would range from netting, smoking them out with sulphur smokes, even the use of special firearms like a machine gun to kill and harvest the birds.

(c) jss.org.uk
Also, the progressive growth of commercialization have destroyed most of the birds habitats, as deciduous forests are being replaced with human dwellings and railroads, limiting their homes to few identifiable locations which also at the same time enables their human hunters to have an easy access to them.

During the 1850's, thousands of people were being employed in a newly established passenger pigeon meat company and they have accounted that each day, the company could kill 18,000 birds per day. After a year of the company's existence, they have already killed billions of passenger pigeons for their meat.

(c) sciencephoto.com
Naturally, with the massive unrestricted hunt for their species, the entire population of passenger pigeons collapsed and have eventually lead to the dispersal of the birds to the different places of the world. While, this transition have saved a lot of passenger pigeons from the hunt as their hunters would no longer find it profitable to hunt them down since they have gone so far across the globe, the process have also been the cause of the demise of many of the surviving species because of their inability of their breeding abilities to cope.

The hunting of the passenger pigeon did cease, however the remaining population of these birds was no longer sustainable and unviable for reinstatement. Until such time that the entire race of these birds were sent to an extinction vortex and thus it could no longer recover.
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