Last fall, Kona was too young to take part in Oregon's brief band-tailed pigeon
season, but the extended dove season offered him just the opportunity he needed to start hunting.
For the Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback, the plan is to use the living and abundant band-tailed pigeon
as a surrogate parent for passenger pigeon embryos.
The closest living relative of the passenger pigeon is the band-tailed pigeon
, which lives out on the West Coast.
Reproductive biology of the band-tailed pigeon
in Colorado and New Mexico.
Once the sequences have been determined, they will then be inserted into the embryos of the closest living relative, the band-tailed pigeon
. Once a viable passenger pigeon is produced, a captive breeding population program will come into effect, followed by the birds' reintroduction into the wild.
They will also be, to a varying extent, genomic hybrids--mammoths that are partly Asian elephant, passenger pigeons that are partly band-tailed pigeon
, great auks that are partly razorbill, Carolina parakeets that are partly sun parakeet.
Together, the two are steadily decoding the DNA of the passenger pigeon and its closest surviving kin, the band-tailed pigeon
Our DNA work with the band-tailed pigeon
shows us that it is a much closer code reference to the passenger pigeon, proving to be its closest living relative.
Working in tandem with Harvard geneticist George Church's lab and Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, he is planning to use passenger pigeon DNA taken from museum specimens and complete the DNA sequence with fragments from the band-tailed pigeon
The scientists plan to "match the DNA sequence of the passenger pigeon with that of its close relative, the band-tailed pigeon
" and "stamp out the divergent sequences from the band-tailed pigeon
genome and replace them with synthesized passenger pigeon genetic material." Critics suggest that funds could be better spent on protecting the many modern-day endangered species.
Currently Revive and Restore is busy sequencing the DNA of the passenger pigeon's nearest living relative, the band-tailed pigeon
, and is simultaneously gathering DNA from some 1,500 preserved passenger pigeon specimens.
The Band-tailed Pigeon
(Columba fasciata) traces a circular path during his display flight (Peeters 1962) and is thus reminiscent of Rhine Ringbeaters.