In the early 1900s, one of the most populous birds in the world, passenger pigeons, were hunted to extinction in the wild. The very last passenger pigeon, Martha, died in captivity in 1914. A few years later, the United States enacted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a treaty that has paved the way for conservation efforts that have saved countless endangered bird species.
Stan Temple, renowned ornithologist, Beers-Bascom Emeritus Professor in Conservation at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and Senior Fellow of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, says that the treaty was the result of a growing public awareness of the fact that unrestricted hunting was having a devastating effect on bird species.
During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Temple talks with host Charity Nebbe about the impact of the Migratory Bird Treaty. The treaty took the hunting pressure off of migratory birds and paved the way for other protections, but there are still significant man-made threats to birds in the United States.
Temple was also an integral part of the first artificial insemination of a red tailed hawk, along with Iowa Blues Hall of Fame musician Joe Price. Temple and Price will both be speaking at The Migratory Bird Treaty: A 100-Year Celebration at the University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History, in Iowa City, on Thursday September 15th at 6:00 pm.