Species extinction continues to be a hotly debated topic among scientists and other such intelligent and curious persons. The Americas have certainly seen a number of well-documented extinctions over the past several centuries, many of which can be at least partially attributed to humans. Perhaps one of the most well known was that of the passenger pigeon, which was declared extinct in 1914. Another such species was the Carolina parakeet, the only parrot native to South Carolina. The last known individual bird known to humans was eaten by a pig in the 1890s, but there has been a resurgence of interest in using DNA obtained from various egg shells in the collection of various museums in an attempt to bring these birds back. While most scientists remain skeptical of such "Jurassic Park"-techniques, Andy Kratter, the curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History remarked that, "It's an interesting question.ï¿½ Regardless, there are no detailed plans as yet to undertake such an endeavor, so residents of the American Southeast will have to remain content with such native bird species as the snowy egret and the great blue heron.
The first link will lead visitors to a news story from USA Today that talks about the possibility of reproducing the Carolina parakeet from DNA samples. The second link will take visitors to a site that provides some nice details about the extinct Carolina parakeet, including its habitat preferences and its general appearance. The third link leads to a page that offers some first-hand observations of the passenger pigeon, including those offered by John James Audubon and John Muir. The fourth link leads to the homepage of BirdLife International , which is a "global alliance of conservation organizations working together for the world's birds and people.ï¿½ The fifth link takes visitors to a site that offers the sounds and calls of some of Florida's birds, along with a selection of short video clips for some of the species. The final link, provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, offers some insights into the science of the film "Jurassic Park," which examined the possibility that dinosaurs might be brought back to life, and what the consequences might be.