NEWS & MEDIA


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“…to the heath hen something more than death has happened, or, rather there is no life to be recreated in this form again. We are looking upon the uttermost finality which can be written, glimpsing the darkness which will not know another ray of light. We are in touch with the reality of extinction.”

– Henry Beetle Hough, “A Bird That Man Could Kill.” The Vineyard Gazette, April 21, 1933.


Recent print/online coverage

XitZkPvU_400x400“Heath Hen Tops De-extinction List”
By Sara Brown
7/28/16 – Vineyard Gazette“A cutting-edge effort to bring the heath hen back into existence is now the leading de-extinction project in the world, project leaders said this week. And while the prospect of a living heath hen is still years and several scientific steps away, the project has already put the Vineyard at the forefront of new technology that could have broad applications in wildlife conservation.”

XitZkPvU_400x400“Heath Hen Project Advances Quickly”
By Sara Brown
3/5/15 – Vineyard Gazette…using DNA plucked from the toes of heath hen specimens in Canada and Chicago, DNA samples from a greater prairie chicken from the plains of Nebraska and funding from donors with Vineyard ties, a team of scientists from around the country hopes to complete the first phase of the heath hen de-extinction project by early summer.
XitZkPvU_400x400“Heath Hen as Gateway Bird for De-extinction Inches Closer to Reality”
By Sara Brown
8/20/15 – Vineyard Gazette…The first phase of a ground-breaking project to bring the heath hen back from extinction has been successfully completed, scientists told a group of Vineyard donors this week. With DNA sequencing of both the extinct bird and its closest living relative complete, the path to bringing back the heath hen is not only getting more tangible, but scientists say the heath hen could be “the gateway bird” for avian de-extinction, paving the way to bringing back other extinct species or saving endangered animals.

XitZkPvU_400x400“Heath Hen Project Advances Quickly”
By Sara Brown
3/5/15 – Vineyard Gazette…using DNA plucked from the toes of heath hen specimens in Canada and Chicago, DNA samples from a greater prairie chicken from the plains of Nebraska and funding from donors with Vineyard ties, a team of scientists from around the country hopes to complete the first phase of the heath hen de-extinction project by early summer.

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What Would Henry Do?
7/31/14 – Vineyard Gazette Editorial

In the depths of the Great Depression, the Gazette’s legendary editor Henry Beetle Hough wrote a stirring obituary observing the passage of the last heath hen.

XitZkPvU_400x400Inspirational Project
By Stephen Kellert
7/31/14 – Vineyard Gazette EditorialCommenting on the extinction of the Great Auk, the recently deceased Peter Matthiessen wrote: “It was a living creature who died needlessly . . . extinct by the hand of man . . . . The finality of extinction is awesome, and not unrelated to the finality of eternity.” Extinction is indeed the death of birth…

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Heath Hen Debate Contains Vineyard DNA
By Ivy Ashe
7/24/14 – Vineyard Gazette Editorial

Bringing back an extinct species raises a whirlwind of questions — technical, ethical and financial. Would it be possible? Should it be done?

XitZkPvU_400x400“Heath Hen Raises Bar on De-Extinction Debate
By Sara Brown
4/17/14 – Vineyard GazetteConservation on the Vineyard has a rich history, but one of the earliest modern conservation efforts was the ultimately futile effort to save the heath hen, the bird that came to only exist on the Island and slowly declined until the last heath hen died on the Island around 1932.

CBS_BostonNon-Profit Wants To Revive Extinct Heath Hen On Martha’s Vineyard
By Kendall Buhl
7/24/14 – CBS BostonThe future of a bird that has been extinct since about 1932 will be the topic of discussion among researchers, conservationists, and interested citizens on Martha’s Vineyard Thursday night.

XitZkPvU_400x400“Once Flourishing Heath Hen Made Its Last Stand on Island
By Sara Brown
4/17/14 – Vineyard GazetteThe heath hen’s story of decline and extinction has become inextricably linked to Martha’s Vineyard — so much so that discussions about de-extinction have centered on whether the heath hen could be brought back to the Island. The last heath hen died on the Vineyard around 1932.

XitZkPvU_400x400“Historic Film Shows Heath Hens Alive and Dancing on Vineyard”
By Tom Dunlop
4/17/14 – Vineyard GazetteIn the cold and snowy early spring of 1926 or 1927, a filmmaker and at least two other men hiked into the scrubby barrens at the center of the Island to capture the courtship rituals of the heath hen for what would turn out to be the final time. 

mvtimes_mvtimes-com-logoHeath hen’s boom could echo again on Martha’s Vineyard
By Nathaniel Horwitz

4/16/14 – MV TimesThe last heath hen on Earth, nicknamed “Booming Ben” by conservationists struggling to save the species, died on Martha’s Vineyard in 1932. He roamed the State Forest, established as a heath hen preserve, for years before he disappeared forever.

XitZkPvU_400x400Never Say Never; Heath Hen May Get Its Boom Back
By Sara Brown
4/3/14 – Vineyard Gazette

Revive & Restore Cofounders Stewart Brand and Ryan Phelan visited Martha’s Vineyard in March 2014 to meet with Island leaders and members of the conservation community to discuss a potential heath hen revival project and gauge local interest.

Boston-Globe_LogoLong-extinct heath hen comes to life in archival film
By Carolyn Y. Johnson
3/7/14 – The Boston Globe

Massachusetts officials commissioned the film nearly a century ago as part of an effort to preserve and study the game bird, once abundant from Southern New Hampshire to Northern Virginia.