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Dusky Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus nigrescens) (top).Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis). Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Dusky Seaside Sparrow conservation status: extinct. Declared extinct in 1990, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow was one of 11.Ammodramus subspecies that inhabit coastal marshlands on the Atlantic.seaboard of the United States. A. m. nigrescens was non-migratory and.lived only in the marshes of the St. John's River and Merritt Island on.Florida's mid-Atlantic coast. A 70% decline in population was.recorded following the use from 1942 to 1953 of DDT to control.mosquitos on Merritt Island. In further efforts to eliminate mosquitos in.1956 in the Kennedy Space Centre region, Merritt Island nesting grounds.were flooded to make mosquito control impoundments, causing another.drop in numbers. Then marshes along the St. John's River were drained to.aid highway construction, putting yet more pressure on the population..By 1980, six remaining individuals, all males, had been captured to establish a captive breeding program that was eventually unsuccessful.because no females were ever found. They lived out their lives in a Walt.Disney World nature reserve called Discovery Island. The last male died in.June 1987.  ..As biologists describe new species and add to our understanding of the interrelated nature of life on Earth, a species becomes extinct every 20 minutes (100 to 1000 times the background extinction rate as seen in the fossil record). Collections in natural history museums play important roles in conservation, education and research. Most of that work and the associated specime