Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Birds being forced north by climate change

Studies show alarming shifts in ranges for hundreds of species.

Already hammered by increasing wildfire, Orange County's plummeting population of coastal cactus wrens might face even harder times ahead: a new study shows global warming could evict the species from 30 percent more of its range by the end of the century.
A famously threatened species, the California gnatcatcher, could lose as much as 56 percent of its range.
The dire forecasts are part of a newly released study by Audubon California predicting dramatic shifts in the ranges of bird species in coming decades.
A companion study by national Audubon Society scientists shows the unmistakeable trend: more than half of the 305 bird species in North America they studied have shifted their ranges an average of 35 miles northward in response to global warming over the past 40 years.

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