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- Dutch Study Sheds Light On Climate Change's Threat To Birds

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  • Pat Neuman
    - Dutch Study Sheds Light On Climate Change s Threat To Birds Paris (AFP) May 04, 2006 Environmental scientists in the Netherlands say they have found evidence
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2006
      - Dutch Study Sheds Light On Climate Change's Threat To Birds

      Paris (AFP) May 04, 2006
      Environmental scientists in the Netherlands say they have found
      evidence that climate change can decimate migrating bird species by
      affecting the date when their main food supply becomes abundant.

      Dutch researchers have been following the species for decades, using
      nestboxes in forests, observations of their arrival and departure
      and monitoring availability of their staple food, which is
      caterpillars.

      They have found that the earlier arrival of warm weather causes the
      caterpillars to emerge sooner -- and as a result, the flycatchers
      may arrive too late to properly feed their young. The birds breed,
      but without having an adequate food supply for the nestlings.

      The team, lead by Christian Both of Groningen University, looked at
      population numbers and caterpillar availability from 1987 to 2003.

      An early food peak caused flycatcher numbers to decline by a
      stunning 90 percent. But when the caterpillars peaked later, the
      decline was only 10 percent.

      "Mistiming as a result of climate change is probably a widespread
      phenomenon," says Both. "(The) evidence (is) that it can lead to
      population declines."

      A small long-distance migrating bird called the pied flycatcher
      (Ficedula hypoleuca) spends the northern hemisphere winter in West
      Africa, returning to northern Europe in the spring to breed.

      Source

      http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Dutch_Study_Sheds_Light_On_Climate_
      Changes_Threat_To_Birds.html
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