Category

Passenger Pigeon

Citizen Science for the Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback – Join the project!

By Ben Novak, De-Extinction, Passenger Pigeon

-Ben J. Novak Revive & Restore’s Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback began in 2012 with two questions: Can we bring back the passenger pigeon to the eastern forests of the United States? And if so, why bring it back? To answer these questions, Revive & Restore with scientists from the University of California, Santa Cruz, sequenced genomes, crunched population models, reviewed historic records and forestry science, and more.  This new research significantly reshapes accepted scientific views of this iconic species. Can we bring back the Passenger Pigeon? We can’t bring the passenger pigeon back as a exact clone from a historical…

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Experimental Investigation of the Dietary Ecology of the Extinct Passenger Pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius

By Passenger Pigeon, Revive & Restore

The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was the dominant species in eastern North American forests for tens of thousands of years prior to its extinction in 1914. The birds lived in megaflocks comprising up to several billion individuals, moving nomadically as they consumed fruit and mast, the seed of beech, oak, chestnut, and other forest trees. The size and density of passenger pigeon flocks as well as their migratory patterns and their diet shaped the abundance and the distribution of tree species in these forests. In fact, the passenger pigeon was an ecosystem engineer of eastern North American forests for tens…

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The Rousing of an 11-Year-Old De-Extincter!

By Passenger Pigeon

A big part of what we do at Revive & Restore is bring together scientists conducting cutting-edge genomics research with the conservationists who are working in the field so that these new technologies may become an instrumental part of the twenty-first century conservation tool kit. The efforts we take to be active on social media, to engage with journalists covering conservation issues, and to jump start key genetic rescue projects mean that the ideas of genetic rescue and de-extinction are becoming part of the conservation conversation. What we didn’t realize is that our work could be so profoundly inspiring to…

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The CRISPR Craze Takes Fight: Adding Birds to the CRISPR Zoo

By Passenger Pigeon

By Ben J. Novak I returned from Taipei, Taiwan today after attending the Avian Model Systems 9 meeting and taking a week-long tour of the spectacular sights of Taroko Gorge, Hualien, and Alishan to reflect on the mass of information presented. Being in the wilderness is certainly the best way to digest new ideas for applying new science innovations to conservation. The Avian Model Systems meeting is a unique conference of scientists striving to make birds the best model organisms possible for many avenues of research. Often, non-avian models are unsuitable to study a particular phenomenon, such as the study of…

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2015 Year End Report by Stewart Brand

By Black-Footed Ferret, De-Extinction, Heath Hen, Passenger Pigeon

Revive & Restore has set out to expand conservation practice by demonstrating how new genomic tools can be applied to a variety of serious wildlife problems that have proved unsolvable by traditional means. Working with dozens of scientists, we are participating in 12 such projects—7 initiated by us. Of the 12 projects, 6 aim to prevent extinction of endangered species (genetic rescue), 5 attempt to reverse extinction in ecologically important species (de-extinction), and 1 hopes to cure a devastating human ailment (Lyme disease) by tweaking its wildlife reservoir. That may seem like too much for a tiny nonprofit to take…

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