The potential for rediscovering our lost natural history has been on the minds of ecologists with the recent centennial anniversary of the death of the last captive passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius Linnaeus) in 1914, and the controversial “resighting” of the ivory‐billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis Linnaeus, Fitzpatrick et al., 2005 but see Sibley, Bevier, Patten, & Elphick, 2006). Evaluating these questions with a novel dataset provides an opportunity to recover seemingly lost autecological information about an extinct species, and to start to understand the ecological context of the Carolina parakeet in North American temperate forest and plains ecosystems. Georeferenced sighting and specimen occurrence data of the extinct Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) from 1564 - 1944. Carolina Parakeets were probably poisonous —American naturalist and painter John J. Audubon noted that cats apparently died from eating them, and they are known to have eaten the toxic seeds of cockleburs. Such a marginal migration pattern is found in other forest‐dwelling nonpasserines, such as the red‐headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus Linnaeus), which has a very similar (though slightly larger) range that shifts southeasterly out of the upper Midwest USA in the winter (Frei, Smith, Withgott, & Rodewold, 2015) depending on food availability (Smith, 1986). We next removed vagrant sightings (n = 23) from the analysis, consistent with IUCN's definition of a species’ range (Gärdenfors, Hilton‐Taylor, Mace, & Rodríguez, 2001), which included all sightings from states where Carolina parakeets were not known to breed, and for which there are no credible records of observations during the breeding season. Given that place names and geographical extents have changed much in the past few hundred years in North America, we paid special attention to historically relevant maps and field journals of specimen collectors when selecting coordinates and measuring uncertainty for each occurrence point. The shading reflects the density of occurrences of each subspecies per cell (i.e., darker areas have a higher density), the solid line within the PCA space represents 100% of the available climate space, and the dotted lines represent 50% of the available climate space. meteora88 1 year ago #6. Here, we construct a comprehensive dataset uniting and carefully georeferencing historical observations from all known accounts of the species with information contained in preserved museum specimens to (1) empirically delineate the climatic niche and range of the Carolina parakeet; (2) test for differences in the climatic associations between the two purported subspecies; and (3) assess evidence for seasonal migration through climatic niche shifts. We also removed occurrence points from analyses if the radius of uncertainty associated with a point was greater than 5 km, as this level of uncertainty reduces the accuracy of resulting species distribution models (Graham et al., 2008). No one had reported a credible sighting of a wild Carolina parakeet since 1910. The Carolina parakeet made an easy target; flocking instinct would bring large numbers of birds back to the scene of a fresh kill, giving hunters another shot at them. The two groupings additionally responded to different climate variables. Within a century, the Carolina parakeet was gone. By contrast, another iconic, extinct, North American bird, the Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis Linnaeus), has received relatively less attention, especially over the past 30 years. We used MaxEnt (Phillips, Anderson, & Schapire, 2006) in the R package “dismo” (v. 2.13.0; Hijmans et al., 2012) to generate species distribution models for each subspecies independently. Our results suggest that the Carolina parakeet's range was much smaller than previously believed (Figure 1), including being smaller than a recently published model of the Carolina parakeet's distribution (Peers, Thornton, Majchrzak, Bastille‐Rousseau, & Murray, 2016), which used a smaller dataset that included occurrences of presumed vagrants and did not account for incorrect or highly uncertain georeferences in online databases. Number of times cited according to CrossRef: Assessing congruence of opportunistic records and systematic surveys for predicting Hispaniolan mammal species distributions. Insufficient data on C. c. carolinensis outside of Florida may contribute bias to our results that fail to support a seasonal migration within that range; however, given that there are comparable numbers of observations in both summer and winter for this subspecies, it seems unlikely that any effect of limited sampling is biased seasonally. Art by Edmund J. Sawyer. Historic sightings of the Carolina parakeet (1564-1944). In late 1920s, sighting came from Okeechobee County, Florida, but later that proved to be false. Seasonal migration should be considered as just one of a number of adaptations that could have helped Carolina parakeets persist in colder areas than their closest relatives, which are largely tropical in distribution (Kirchman et al., 2012). Something new had happened – and the odds are good that it was our fault. Using extents with no biological basis (i.e., geopolitical boundaries) can artificially inflate evaluations of model fit (i.e., area under the curve, AUC), giving false confidence in the validity of the model (Jimenez‐Valverde, Lobo, & Hortal, 2008). Working off-campus? The problem with sightings is that the green parakeet, a species native to Central America as far north as the southern tip of Texas, and the red-masked parakeet from Ecuador and Peru, look similar to the Carolina parakeet and have been pets in the United States for a long time, as have many other parrot species. The last known Carolina Parakeet died at a Cincinnati, Ohio zoo in 1918 and the species was declared extinct in 1939. The Carolina parakeet has been extinct for roughly a century, and a new genetic study pins the blame squarely on humans. Cincinnati’s Best Brew Pubs for Bird Watchers and Vacationers. We implement both analyses in the R package “ENMTools” (v. 0.1; Warren, Glor, & Turelli, 2010), using a 90% minimum training presence threshold for environmental space, applied to a PCA of the climate variable set. The Carolina parakeet was the only indigenous parrot in North America. As the Carolina parakeet managed to live through cold winters in parts of the Midwest, the fact that they were not found in the higher elevations is perplexing. But if we hope to conserve the estimated 7.9% of all species threatened with extinction in the near future from climate change (Urban, 2015), we must understand extinction as a process. The last known Carolina parakeet was born sometime around 1883 and died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918, in the same ill-fated cage where the world’s last passenger pigeon had died in 1914. Stable isotope ecology provides critical insights into diet (Hilderbrand et al., 1996), metabolism (Nelson, Angerbjörn, Lidén, & Turk, 1998), and even migration (Hoppe, Koch, Carlson, & Webb, 1999). New information: Because we include both observations and specimen data, the Carolina parakeet occurrence dataset presented here is the most comprehensive and rigorous datsetset on this species available. I hold a B.A. Previous range maps for this species were generated by drawing a polygon encompassing all of the most distant areas in which the Carolina parakeet had been reported (see Hasbrouck, 1891; Snyder & Russell, 2002; Figure 1). Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. Cats who ate Carolina parakeets usually died soon after). Although preliminary genetic work has gone as far as to place the Carolina parakeet within the subfamily Arinae in the parrot phylogeny (Kirchman et al., 2012), further genetic testing could be targeted to verify the validity of these subspecies, and to explore whether or not gene flow existed between the two subspecies in areas where they may have overlapped in the southeastern United States. Circles with diagnoal lines show estimates of uncertainty associated with each point. So, rather than use all 19 bioclimatic variables available (sensu Hijmans et al., 2005), we limited our analysis to six climate variables (annual mean temperature, mean diurnal range, temperature seasonality, mean temperature of driest quarter, annual precipitation, and precipitation of the warmest quarter), as these variables have been shown to generally be the most important when building species distribution models for North American birds and are minimally correlated with one another (Barbet‐Massin & Jetz, 2014). 's (2008) background test, which corrects for the environmental covariate space in the species’ available area (Peterson, 2011). The last Carolina parakeet died in captivity in 1918. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. Winter population dynamics of three species of mast‐eating birds in the eastern United States, The Carolina Parakeet: Glimpses of a vanished bird, Interpretation of models of fundamental ecological niches and species’ distributional areas, The effect of spatially marginal localities in modelling species niches and distributions, Present‐day risk assessment would have predicted the extinction of the passenger pigeon (, The interior Carolina paroquet as a Nebraska bird, Plant‐animal mutualism: Coevolution with dodo leads to near extinction of plant, Accelerating extinction risk from climate change. The extinct Carolina Parakeet was the only parrot known to be native to North America – north of the Mexican border. We advocate for the application of these methods in conjunction with spatial tools as a more formalized toolbox for recovering the biology of extinct species, and more generally, for exploring the extinction process. ISBN 978-0-8027-7966-3. 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