Traveling pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius)

Kingdom animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class birds
Order Columbiformes
Family columbidae
Gender ectopistes
Speciesmigratory ectopistes

the traveling pigeon, migratory ectopistes, was a species of bird that lived in North America and that, according to some researchers like John Audubon, one of the founders of ornithology (a science that studies birds), was the most abundant bird in the planet.
In summer they were frequent in the east of the Rocky Mountains; and in winter, they headed for the southern United States, darkening the sky as they passed, for hours or even days. To get an idea, there are records of flocks of approximately two billion birds, which occupied an area 1.5 kilometers wide, and 500 long, when migrating at this time of year.
This bird, with blue, red and white plumage, and orange breast; placed their nests, containing only one egg, next to each other. Thus, it was not uncommon to find trees completely occupied by nests, with extensions reaching a few miles.
With the American expansion towards the west, the meat of these birds came to be popularly considered as an excellent delicacy; and their hunting and egg collection became a common habit among friends and family. Thus, for approximately forty years, this species was severely persecuted. Due to these factors, and the lack of food due to loss of habitats, the traveling pigeon was completely extinct from the wild in 1900.

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From then on, these individuals were only seen in zoos, with great difficulty in reproduction. The last living specimen, a female named Martha, died in September 1914, at the Cincinnati Zoo (USA), definitively marking the disappearance of the species. Today it is taxidermized, in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (Washington - USA), for public exhibition.
The story of traveling pigeons is perhaps the most dramatic case of extinction that we have as an example, as it is a situation in which a species of extreme abundance has been wiped out due to the human thought that everything in nature is inexhaustible and can be exploited at will. nice-pleasure.

By Mariana Araguaia
Graduated in Biology
Brazil School Team

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"Extinct animals" section

Extinct animals -Animals -Brazil School

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