Thursday, August 30, 2012

Creature Feature: African Green Pigeon.

For those of you curious: No, I do not have a Facebook account. I do, however, have a Twitter account. While I was checking said Twitter account earlier today, a link to the plight of this not-so-little bird found its way into my feeds:

Yep. It's time for another pigeon. This is an African green pigeon (Treron calvus), who once again proves that we take pigeons for granted.  It can be found throughout all of Africa, pretty much. That said, this bird has to be one of the least-filmed animals on the savannah.

Despite its seeming lack of press, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that this is a very pretty pigeon.  Its body may be all green, but, like many green parrots, it has splashes of color elsewhere. The eyes are also quite striking. Whoever thinks pigeons cannot possibly be beautiful cannot think of pigeons beyond the "feathered rats" that are slowly taking over the world.

So, how did the green pigeon get into my Tweets? In some parts of Africa, the green pigeons are in peril. Specifically, the forests in the Congo region are slowly being stripped of their multicolor pigeons. Considering almost everything else is under threat in that particular area, nobody should be surprised. The pigeons, however, are trapped alive, skewered through the stomach, and plucked to roast alive. We are not surprised that people are eating pigeons; that, however, sounds like the sadistic fantasy of a commuter after receiving a coat of whitewash from a certain city bird.

There are, however, plenty of other areas with green pigeons. TH pigeons are almost all that's left, and they're being harvested like it's nobody's business.  It's just awful that Congo has suffered so many ecological losses that the pigeon might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.  A lot of people would say that large mammals like, say, bonobos and elephants are far more important, but this is an ecosystem. Every little piece of the puzzle matters.

Or, y'know? If you like bonobos and green pigeons, donate here.

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