SALT LAKE CITY — Climate change spells trouble for many tropical birds – especially those living in mountains, coastal forests and relatively small areas – and the damage will be compounded by other threats like habitat loss, disease and competition among species.
That is among the conclusions of a review of nearly 200 scientific studies relevant to the topic. The review was scheduled for online publication this week in the journal Biological Conservation by Çağan Şekercioğlu (pronounced Cha-awn Shay-care-gee-oh-loo), an assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah.
There are roughly 10,000 bird species worldwide. About 87 percent spend at least some time in the tropics, but if migratory birds are excluded, about 6,100 bird species live only in the tropics, Şekercioğlu says.
He points out that already, “12.5 percent of the world’s 10,000 bird species are threatened with extinction” – listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (
). Şekercioğlu’s research indicates about 100 to 2,500 land bird species may go extinct due to climate Full article here
JOHN CREPEAU/Missoulian University of MISSOULA — A decline in snow at high elevations has led to shrinking songbird populations in the mountains of northern Arizona, a new study by two University of Montana scientists found.
Some of the same bird species inhabit Montana.
U.S. Geological Survey senior scientist and UM professor Thomas Martin, along with UM biology professor John Maron, recently published the findings of their six-year study on indirect effects of climate change on ecosystems.
The abundance of deciduous trees and songbird populations have declined over the past 22 years because of decreasing snowpack above 8,000 feet in northern Arizona. Because of less snow, elk remain at higher elevations for longer periods of time, browsing on plants that provide cover and nesting places for birds.
The study is available now online, Martin said, while a hard copy of the journal Nature Climate Change is due out next month.
“The indirect effects of climate on plant communities may be Read more…
By Cecil Morella (AFP)
CANDABA, Philippines — The number of birds flying south to important wintering grounds in the Philippines has fallen sharply this year, with experts saying the dramatic demise of wetlands and hunting are to blame.
Despite some harsh, cold weather across the Eurasian landmass, some waterbirds that usually migrate in huge flocks to the tropical islands have been completely absent, said Philippine-based Danish ornithologist Arne Jensen.
“The flyway populations of several waterbird species are in constant and dramatic decline,” Jensen, who advises the Philippine government on species conservation, told AFP.
“Hence the urgent need to establish real and well-managed, hunting-free waterbird sanctuaries along the migratory flyways.”
Candaba, a swamp two hours’ drive north of Manila that has long been used as a pit stop by hundreds of species as they fly staggering distances between the Arctic Circle and Australia, appears emblematic of the downfall.
Jensen said that bird watchers routinely counted 100,000 ducks at Candaba in the 1980s as they stopped there for a rest while traversing the East Asian-Australasian flyway.
But volunteers recorded just Read more…
By Brett Michael Dykes
When birds began mysteriously falling from the sky a couple of weeks ago, some conspiratorial minds were convinced that the government was involved. One line of speculation held that the Pentagon was conducting a secret weapons experiment that killed the birds. Another theorized that the feds were covering up the air-befouling practices of a major player in agribusiness or the energy industry.
Now we know that the government did have a hand in at least one of the kills, though this revelation doesn’t seem to involve sinister intrigue.
Yes, the Agriculture Department said Thursday, it did have a hand in the recent mass killing of starlings in South Dakota. According to the USDA, the birds were poisoned in Nebraska to help farmers who had complained about starling flocks defecating into livestock feed troughs. The birds dropped dead en masse after migrating north.
According to the Christian Science Monitor:
“The USDA’s Wildlife Services Program, which contracts with farmers for bird control, said it used an avicide poison called DRC-1339 to cull a roost of 5,000 birds that were defecating on a farmer’s cattle feed across the state line in Nebraska. But officials said the agency had nothing to do with large and dense recent bird kills in Arkansas and Louisiana.
“Nevertheless, the USDA’s role in the South Dakota bird deaths puts a focus on a little-known government bird-control program that began in the 1960s under the name of Bye Bye Blackbird, which eventually became part of the USDA and was housed in the late ’60s at a NASA facility. In 2009, USDA agents euthanized more than 4 million red-winged blackbirds, starlings, cowbirds, and grackles, primarily using pesticides that the government says are not harmful to pets or humans.”
Surely this news will calm all the “aflockalypse” hysteria out there, right? Oh, who are we kidding: Any sign of federal involvement will be seized on as another layer in the elaborate cover-up.
There is a flood in Australia of biblical proportions though it must be said there is little news of it in the U.S. media. Much of Queensland is under water which would be comparable to saying that much of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and a large portion of New York is under water. Australia is very big.
If that news was not disturbing enough, on Tuesday, Krakatau volcano in Indonesia erupted, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands in its vicinity as ash rained down on two large provinces. Meanwhile, the Kizimen volcano on Kamchatka is erupting as well.
England is passing through the worst winter in the last hundred years of recorded history. Its heavy investment in clean energy, specifically wind turbines, has turned out to be a bad idea since they tend not to turn much when the weather turns cold. Having shut down most of its coal mines, England is experiencing a lack of electrical power that is killing some folks.
No, it is not the Apocalypse, but it might as well be for people fleeing or trapped by these huge events.
No doubt some people are trying to organize efforts to save the kangaroos and koala bears in Australia while others are worrying about indigenous animals in Indonesia. If this sounds like they have idiotic priorities, they do. The same indifference Nature shows to these critters applies to you as well.
The anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, January 13, will occasion a flurry of articles and analysis of what has happened since (not much) but will fade by the weekend. Haiti hasn’t had a good day for centuries.
Meanwhile, snow has fallen in 49 of the U.S. States including Hawaii! It covered 69% of the lower 48. The northeast just experienced its second blizzard since Christmas.
Time to panic? Hardly.
So when should we panic? I would suggest a good time would be when we in America wake up and discover that the current administration has forced enough coal-burning utilities to shut down and there’s no electricity or just not enough to go around. Coal provides fifty percent of all of the electricity we use in the U.S.
We might begin to panic when we realize that the government remains steadfastly in the way of building more nuclear plants to generate electricity, despite its rhetoric stating the opposite.
Most Americans will begin to get angry when a gallon of gasoline hits $4 or more and will wonder why without wondering what happens when the U.S. government shuts down much of the drilling in the Gulf of Mexico by simply not issuing permits and forbids exploration or drilling off the long East and West coasts where billions of barrels of oil are believed to exist. Brazil is doing it. Why not us?
Oil is a global commodity which means that its price is determined by supply and demand. Right now, as China’s economy continues to surge and ours continues to stagnate, China is buying up as much oil as it can get its hands on. It is drilling for it off the coast of Cuba, a mere 90 miles from the tip of Florida.
Due to the floods in Australia, a major producer of coal, China is looking to purchase coal dug out of the mines in Appalachia, precisely where the Obama administration has done its best to shut down mines.
So, you see, it really is a small world after all.
The last great eruption of Krakatau actually lowered the temperature worldwide by throwing so much “schmutz” into the atmosphere it interfered with the Sun’s warming rays.
No matter where you live, it helps if the government doesn’t behave in a totally irrational and stupid way in the name of some bogus notion like global warming.
By the way, where is Al Gore these days? I hear China is experiencing some monster snow storms and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear he’s over there.
© Alan Caruba,
“What’s been done in the Gulf is going to eventually affect every single American citizen,” Kindra Arnesen told Project Gulf Impact in a recent interview.
She continued, “This is still going to go global because as the economy and the United States goes under the sledgehammer… the rest of the world is going to feel it.”
“This isn’t just about the United States. This isn’t just about the Gulf Coast. This is about a whole planet because one hand washes the other,” she added.
Arnesen, a South Louisiana mother who with BP’s invitation toured areas devastated by the Macondo Well explosion, described the negative health effects to which she and others, including oil spill clean up crews, were exposed around the Gulf Coast.
One such crew she encountered had brown spots on their bodies. Her friend on the same crew currently has bruising across her stomach, she said.
“It didn’t look like someone punched her in the stomach,” Arnesen explained. ”It looked like the blood vessels underneath the skin surface were literally breaking and the blood was slowly coming to the surface.”
“People are getting sick all over the Gulf Coast,” she added. “If people who live here can get sick, then people who come here can very well get sick.”
Arnesen also noted that the chemicals used in the clean up are known to make animals sterile.
“We’re not that much different than a species in the Gulf,” she said, taking into account the area’s children.
According to the coastal zone director of Plaquemine Parish, the oil spread across the Louisiana shoreline after the well was capped in September from 287 miles in July to 320 miles in late November.
“The government does not have a plan,” Arnesen said. “BP is about to pull the response efforts out of the gulf. We’ve got to step up to the plate and say something.”
Source of map: link to j.imagehost.org
Kentucky: Women reports dozens of dead birds in her yard
Louisiana: Hundreds of DEAD Black Birds Found In Louisiana
Arkansas: For Arkansas Blackbirds, the New Year Never Came
Germany: Dead birds of prey at the roadside
Japan: Japan on alert after finding dead birds
Florida: Thousands Of Fish Dead In Spruce Creek
Arkansas: 100,000 drum fish die in Arkansas River, more than 100 miles from site of bizarre blackbird deaths
Kent Island, MD: MDE: Fish Kill Caused By Cold Stress
Brazil: Mysterious killing of fish in coastal
Wales UK: UK. Dead fish discovered in canal marina near Abergavenny
Peterborough UK: Concern as fish die in beauty spot brook
New Zealand: Hundreds of snapper dead on beaches
On New Years Eve 2010 in Beebe, Arkansas 5,000 blackbirds mysteriously plummeted to their death while in mid-flight. The birds were found in an area that is 1 mile long and 1/2 of a mile wide beginning around 11:30 p.m . No dead birds were found outside of this area. Arkansas’ top veterinarian, Dr. George Stevens, said preliminary autopsies on 17 of the blackbirds, which ruled out poison, indicate they died of blunt trauma and midair. The dead birds were collected from rooftops and streets, but initial tests found no toxins.
100,000 drum fish were found dead near the town where the 5,000 blackbirds died. It was reported that the fish died Dec. 29, covered about 17 river miles from Ozark Lock and Dam down to river mile 240, directly south of Hartman, Chris Racey, the Game and Fish Commission’s assistant chief of fisheries, said today in a release. The two events happened apparently within a 24 hour time period
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens said mass “kills” of fish occur every year but he revealed that the magnitude of the latest one was unusual. “This kill only affected one species,” he said. “If it had been caused by a pollutant it would have affected all kinds, not just drum fish.”
In a seemingly separate incident, some 500 red-winged blackbirds, starlings and grackles were found dead in southern Louisiana in Labarre.Another situation near Little Rock that hasn’t gotten much media attention is the numerous earthquakes that have happened in Guy. According to CNN, there have been 487 “measurable earthquakes” since September 20 of 2010, and the depth of the quakes has been between one-and-a-quarter and five miles below the surface. What’s especially interesting is that Guy is near a major earthquake fault known as the New Madrid.