Research an animal that has gone extinct and provide a valid reason why you would want to bring this animal back. 1. Give both the scientific name and common name of the animal. 2. Provide a little background information on the animal, such as where the animal lived. 3. Roughly how long has the animal been extinct? 4. Why did the animal go extinct? 5. Why would you want to bring this animal back? 6. How would we go about bringing this animal back?

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Our answers may differ, but one animal that I would love to see brought back from extinction is the Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis). It lived in old growth forests from southern New York to the Gulf of Mexico and was the only parrot species native to the Eastern US. The last wild Carolina Parakeet died in the Okefenokee Swamp in 1904, and the last one in captivity died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918. It was not until 1939, however, that the bird was declared extinct, when sightings in the Okefenokee Swamp could not be verified by hard evidence.

There were many reasons why the bird went extinct. Many farmers considered it a pest, though some valued it, since it ate invasive cockleburs. The parakeet was kept as a pet by many, though they did little to care for it. The bird's plumage was valued for ladies' hats, and commercial bird hunters would shoot thousands of birds every year for the commercial hat industry in the late 1800s. The bird would often return to the same area every year to nest, thus making it an easy target. Poultry diseases may have also wiped out some of the birds, since their deaths continued after hat fashions changed in the early 1900s.

I am linking an article with a picture of the Carolina Parakeet—it's a beautiful bird. Though there are fewer old-growth forests, people are more aware of conservation efforts, and the bird can start to make a comeback in zoos and national parks. People would appreciate the bird for its beauty rather than for its commercial value. Scientists have sequenced the Carolina parakeet's genome from a stuffed specimen in Spain; however, researchers are still searching for an ideal surrogate.

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