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Winging It! With Dr. Paul

Audubon Alert

Aviaticus Generalis is an endangered species. This magnificent creature with its varied plumage and wide migration territory is slowly being displaced from its native habitat. Its less populous though swifter and more powerful cousin, Aviaticus Commercialis, appears far more adaptable in the face of a changing environment, and may well emerge as the dominant species.

Generalis, once multiplying at a rate approaching 40,000 chicks per year, has proved incapable of reproducing in captivity, and last year hatched scarcely more than 1,000 young. Its attempts at mating in flight frequently end tragically. Even more significant is the dominance of its only known natural predator, Liabilitus Litigious, whose ranks have swelled in direct proportion to the establishment of new breeding grounds at our nation's law schools.

What can we do to save this grand species, so long the symbol of freedom and mobility, from extinction? One hope for Generalis lies in our protecting from urban encroachment the few regions where it nests, where it feeds, where it breeds: our nation's G.A. airports. Another is to instill within the children of our own species a reverence for these fragile creatures, for their destiny and our own are closely linked. Finally, the open hunting seasons which have occasionally been declared in Washington, in Sacramento and elsewhere, must cease immediately. A species' survival is at stake.

Toni Wakes drawing

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