Professor Stanley Temple Presents Passenger Pigeon Program

On Saturday, October 4, 2014, Professor Emeritus Stanley Temple visited Wyalusing State Park and presented park visitors with a program about the Passenger Pigeon. Just under 25 brave souls attended the very chilly Saturday morning. (Photo left: Prof. Stanley Temple, Friends of Wyalusing president Bruce Klang, and Ranger John Moore)

Wyalusing State Park visitors listened as Temple recounted the story of the now extinct passenger pigeon –once one of of the world’s most abundant birds. Temple recounted the sobering story of the passenger pigeon and what it can tell us about the ongoing extinction crisis and the human relationship with other species.

Many visitors to Wyalusing State Park have stopped at the Passenger Pigeon Monument, where a stone monument with a bronze plaque featuring a passenger pigeon drawn by a Wisconsin bird artist Owen Gromme was designed and A.W. Schorger composed an inscription.  Members of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology  erected a monument to commemorate the 1899 death of the last passenger pigeon in Wisconsin and the 1914 extinction of the entire species. It was unveiled in 1946 and dedicated by Aldo Leopold. Paul Lawrence, the park superintendent at that time,  oversaw the construction of the monument. 

For 32 years Professor Stanley Temple occupied the faculty position once held by Aldo Leopold and while in that position earned every teaching award for which he was eligible. He and his students have worked on endangered species problems in 21 different countries, and have helped save some of the world's rarest and most endangered species, especially birds. Temple has received recognition for his work in conservation from numerous organizations, and has authored over 330 publications. He has long been interested in passenger pigeons, having analyzed historical records of the species that were first assembled by A. W. Schorger for his 1955 book on the life history and ecology of the species.