Monday, October 01, 2007

News Roundup

A proposed tidal power project in the UK would seriously threaten existing intertidal habitat.
Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB's conservation director, said tackling climate change is hugely important, but that it can be done "without destroying irreplaceable national treasures like the Severn estuary".

"The government should be aiming to help [and] not destroy wildlife, and that applies to proposals for green energy schemes just as much as new supermarkets or housing estates," he added. read more...

Global Warming and changing Bird Behavior
According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, several ornithological researchers suspect global warming is leading to changes in bird behavior, namely in regards to bird distribution, population and migratory patterns.

The American Bird Conservancy predicts doom for more than half of the migrating species in the Great Lakes region if warming continues at its current pace from a report issued in its publication titled "A Birdwatcher's Guide to Global Warming."

Here is just a sampling of some of the behavioral changes that are being noticed in the Midwest.......

--The Northern Mockingbird, more of a southern bird, has expanded far into the upper Midwest.
--Mississippi Kites nested in southern Ohio recently, which is the farthest north ever recorded.
--Cerulean Warbler population is down 70% over the past 25 years.
--Orioles and Black-Capped Chickadees are becoming much more common in northern areas, while diminishing on the southern end of their normal range. read more...

Birds' changing migration patterns due to global warming
For Lake Erie birders, this prediction sounds, well, a little eerie.

John Pogacnik, a naturalist with the Lake Metroparks says the kinds and numbers of birds in the area have changed dramatically over the past decade.

During the Christmas Bird Count at Kelleys Island last year, Pogacnik counted more than 100 hermit thrush where there had never been more than a handful before.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife says birds are following the bugs, which are relocating as temperatures rise. read more...

Birds' changing behavior is warning of global warming
Consider other avian changes in Ohio:

Northern mockingbirds - those rowdy mimics of the south - have expanded far into the upper Midwest and are abundant in the briars at Whiskey Island on Cleveland's lakefront.

A pair of Mississippi kites - sleek, gray raptors common in the Deep South - nested and fledged a chick this past summer on a golf course in Hocking County in southern Ohio. It marked the farthest north the kites had ever nested and the first time on record in Ohio. read more...

Australian Birdlife facing the challenge of survival
Professor Garnett in his research, the history of threatened birds in Australia and its offshore islands, listed disturbing predictions that 45 Australian bird species were threatened to some degree by increase in temperature by 2050.

The impact of climate change was now starting to show an impact on numbers, said Professor Garnett.

The fairy tern has disappeared from South Australia because of the salinity killing of the fish they feed on and the mismanagement of river flows that destroys their nests. read more...

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