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North American Model of Wildlife Conservation: Will It Be Enough?

Photo by Ken Dunwoody

It is the foundation of the most successful wildlife conservation management programs on earth. The question is whether it can adapt.

The last passenger pigeon, named Martha, died of natural causes in a Cincinnati zoo in September 1914 at the age of 29.

She was the final example of a population that numbered in the billions of individuals -- flocks so large, their passing would blot out the sun at noon as if it were an eclipse and last for hours. The noise of those flocks was described as being like standing next to a locomotive.

But unregulated market hunting, along with the clearing of many of the Eastern hardwood forests, the immense colonies used for roosting, contributed to the passenger pigeon's subsequent extinction in the early days of the 20th Century.

But passenger pigeons weren't the only...

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