The Passenger Pigeon was native to North America with the last dying in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914, classifying this species as extinct.
“Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons; trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a few decades hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know.” – Aldo Leopold
With nearly 5 billion pigeons, the flocks were so large they blackened the daylight sky for hours, resulting in many believing the end of the world was near.
“The multitudes of Wild Pigeons in our woods are astonishing. Indeed, after having viewed them so often, and under so many circumstances, I even now feel inclined to pause, and assure myself that what I am going to relate is fact. Yet I have seen it all, and that too in the company of persons who, like myself, were struck with amazement.” – John James Audubon
The extinction of Passenger Pigeon has been labeled one of the greatest and most senseless human-induced extinctions in history. The result has brought new conservation laws and practices which prevent the extinction of other species.