Matt MacGillivray/CC BY 2.0.The resplendent quetzal faces increased competition from other birds and drier habitat due to global warming.
You might think birds, of allanimals, could just pick up and move if their environment changes in a way not to their liking, but global warming poses a very real threat to the avian world: Scientists say climate change is likely to drive up to 900 bird species intoextinctionby the end of the century unless additional conservation measures are taken.
Tropical bird species are particularly vulnerable because they are adapted to living in a stable climate, where temperatures do not vary wildly throughout the year, according toÇağan Şekercioğluof the University of Utah, the lead author of “The effects of climate change on tropical birds,” a scientific review of some 200 separate studies published recently in the journalBiological Conservation.
100-500 More Extinctions For Each Degree Of Warming
Surface warming of 3.5 degrees Celsius — the middle range of theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest estimate — by the year 2100 “may result in 600-900extinctionsof land bird species, 89 percent of which occur in the tropics,” Şekercioğlu and his co-authors Richard Primack and Janice Wormworth write. “Depending on the amount of futurehabitat loss, each degree of surface warming could lead to approximately 100-500 additionalbird extinctions.”
caspar s/CC BY 2.0.A red-capped manakin. Some manakin species in Brazil could lose up to 80 percent of their habitat.
The new article, which updates previousresearchfrom 2007, looks at different categories of birds (such as “aquatic birds in the tropics,” “arid zone species,” and “birds in human-dominated landscapes”) to assess which will be the most affected byclimate change. It also examines how global warming compounds other threats, including habitat loss, hunting,invasive species, pollution, and disease.
Habitat Loss Dramatically Compounds The Problem
“[I]n some cases habitat loss [from agriculture and development] can increase bird extinctions caused by climate change by nearly 50 percent,” Şekercioğlu says, calling for further research to be conducted, degraded habitat to be restored, and more land to be protected.
It’s not just birds that are at stake. “Farmers, hunter-gatherers, nomadic herders, and others, especially in less developed countries, depend on a healthy environment, and birds are important for ecosystem services like seed dispersal and insect control,”The New York Timespoints out in an article about the study.
And as Şekercioğlu told the paper: “If this is happening to birds, and they can migrate, then for other organisms, it’s going to be worse.”
Published in www.treehugger.com
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [6074 Views]
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [1350 Views]
- Angry hippo flings newborn calf into the air » [1153 Views]
- Recently rediscovered hummingbird faces extinction » [1071 Views]
- Poll: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [1014 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [834 Views]
- Thought-to-be-extinct ‘halloween’ frog rediscovered in Costa Rica » [706 Views]
- The triumph of the bison: Europe’s biggest animal bounces back a century after vanishing » [672 Views]
- Butterfly wings inspire cosmetics and bomb detectors » [634 Views]
- Police probe ship’s crew after nabbing smuggler with 24 rare birds in plastic bottles » [596 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [11804 Views]
- » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10679 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [6304 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [4007 Views]
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [3790 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [3737 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [3583 Views]
- Poll: Should hunting of black bears in Florida be allowed? » [3002 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of wolves in British Columbia be banned? » [2962 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [2699 Views]