Goodbye: Dusky Seaside Sparrow

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The world in a jar: Is this the sort of world we wish to leave to our children?

Dusky Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus nigrescens).
Extinct.

Image: Joel Sartore/National Geographic [larger view].

The photographer writes;

Slipping into extinction almost unnoticed, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow, Ammodramus maritimus nigrescens -- found mainly on Florida's Merritt Island -- declined from roughly 3,000 pairs to none as its salt marsh habitat was sprayed with DDT and taken over for use by the space program. The last Dusky Sparrow died in 1987.

Photographer Joel Sartore has shared some of his work on this blog before, so I am thrilled to tell you that National Geographic also appreciates his exemplary work. You can view more endangered animals of the United States that were photographed by this talented photographer at National Geographic online. All images appear here by permission of National Geographic online.

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Orange Band and the dusky seaside sparrows are gone, but not forgotten.

By Nancy Mitchell (not verified) on 21 Jan 2009 #permalink

HI:
For more on the extinction on the Dusky Seaside Sparrow, read: A Shadow and a Song by Mark Jerome Walters.

By Ian "Birdbooke… (not verified) on 21 Jan 2009 #permalink

God, that picture is utterly heartbreaking...

I'll second the recommendation to read "A Shadow and a Song." It's a sad and infuriating story.

Is this photograph available to purchase? It is absolutely gorgeous and I would love to own it.

By dawn wolf-taylor (not verified) on 08 Mar 2009 #permalink

Thank you for the requiem for this tiny bird. Sadly, more tragedies like this may well stack up because of our species' short sightedness. The eco-systems in isolated places are so delicately balanced...

In Australia, there has been a drought for six years that has made life difficult for wild budgies. I read details about breeding flocks that distressed me. If we don't watch out, parakeets will only live in our cages and the genetic makeup of the species will be limited to its hothouse varieties.

By Elizabeth (not verified) on 10 May 2009 #permalink

I still remember the year that the last of its kind died. I read the article I found in the local newspaper to my middle school students that day. It's a sad time when a species is gone forever.