Museum collection reveals distribution of Carolina parakeet 100 years after its extinction

phys.org | 6/19/2018 | Staff
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While 2018 marks the centenary of the death of the last captive Carolina parakeet—North America's only native parrot, a team of researchers have shed new light on the previously known geographical range of the species, which was officially declared extinct in 1920.

Combining observations and specimen data, the new Carolina parakeet occurrence dataset, recently published in the open access Biodiversity Data Journal by Dr. Kevin Burgio, , Dr. Colin Carlson, University of Maryland and Georgetown University, and Dr. Alexander Bond, Natural History Museum of London, is the most comprehensive ever produced.

Study - Information - Birds - Window - Ecology

The new study provides unprecedented information on the birds range providing a window into the past ecology of a lost species.

"Making these data freely available to other researchers will hopefully help unlock the mysteries surrounding the extinction and ecology of this iconic species. Parrots are the most at-risk group of birds and anything we can learn about past extinctions may be useful going forward," says the study's lead author, Kevin Burgio.

Recordings - Study - Variety - Sources - Correspondence

The observational recordings included in the study have been gleaned from a wide variety of sources, including the correspondence of well-known historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and the explorers Lewis and Clark.

The study team referenced recorded sightings spanning nearly 400 years. The oldest recorded sighting dates back to 1564, and was found in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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