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Old 02-26-2009, 11:43 PM   #1
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Default Birds' Movements Reveal Climate Change In Action

Birds' Movements Reveal Climate Change In Action
ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2009)

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The northward and inland movement of North American birds, confirmed by thousands of citizen-observations, has provided new and powerful evidence that climate change is having a serious impact on natural systems, according to a new report by Audubon (BirdLife in the USA). The findings signal the need for dramatic policy changes to combat pervasive ecological disruption.

Analyses of citizen-gathered data from the past 40 years of Audubonís Christmas Bird Count reveal that 58% of the 305 widespread species that winter on the continent have shifted significantly north since 1968, some by hundreds of kilometres. Movement was detected among species of every type, including more than 70% of highly adaptable forest and feeder birds. Only 38% of grassland species mirrored the trend, reflecting the constraints of their severely-depleted habitat and suggesting that they now face a double threat from the combined stresses of habitat loss and climate adaptation.
"Birds are showing us how the heavy hand of humanity is tipping the balance of nature and causing ecological disruption in ways we are just beginning to predict and comprehend", said report co-author and Audubon Director of Bird Conservation, Dr Greg Butcher. "Common sense dictates that we act now to curb the causes and impacts of global warming to the extent we can, and shape our policies to better cope with the disruptions we cannot avoid."
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
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