Studies show climate change another threat to endemic birds - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Studies show climate change another threat to endemic birds

Courtesy: Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project Courtesy: Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - According to recent work by biologists, Hawaii Island's native bird populations could be threatened by climate change as rising temperatures and changes in rainfall have allowed disease-transmitting mosquitoes to thrive.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports studies by United States Geologic Survey biologists show that populations of two native honeycreepers, the akikiki and akekee, have declined on Kauai's Alakai Plateau. USGS research biologist, Dennis LaPointe, says the findings indicate the effects of climate change are being observed sooner than expected.

The biologists also found that the iiwi bird, which lives at high elevations, is most susceptible to the changes. Birds in low- and mid-elevations saw less significant impacts of climate change.

Some bird populations on the Big Island, including the apapane and amakihi, have shown signs of resistance to disease.

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