Friday, March 12, 2010

'State of the Birds' report shows climate change threatens hundreds of species

State of the Climate change threatens to further imperil hundreds of species of migratory birds, already under stress from habitat loss, invasive species and other environmental threats, a new report released today by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar concludes. The State of the Birds: 2010 Report on Climate Change, follows a comprehensive report released a year ago showing that that nearly a third of the nation's 800 bird species are endangered, threatened or in significant decline.

“For well over a century, migratory birds have faced stresses such as commercial hunting, loss of forests, the use of DDT and other pesticides, a loss of wetlands and other key habitat, the introduction of invasive species, and other impacts of human development,” Salazar said. “Now they are facing a new threat--climate change--that could dramatically alter their habitat and food supply and push many species towards extinction.”

The report, a collaboration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and experts from the nation’s leading conservation organizations, shows that climate changes will have an increasingly disruptive effect on bird species in all habitats, with oceanic and Hawaiian birds in greatest peril.

In releasing the report, Salazar cited the unprecedented efforts by the Obama Administration and the Department of the Interior to address climate change.

….“Birds are excellent indicators of the health of our environment, and right now they are telling us an important story about climate change,” said Dr. Kenneth Rosenberg, director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Many species of conservation concern will face heightened threats, giving us an increased sense of urgency to protect and conserve vital bird habitat.”…

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