Climate change blamed for collapse of Hawaiian forest birds
(Image: Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project)
Courtesy: Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) - A new study blames climate change for the rapid decline of native forest birds on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
According to the research published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, higher temperatures caused by global warming increase the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as avian malaria in habitats once cool enough to keep them under control.
The study's authors documented fewer populations of Hawaiian honeycreepers than expected, saying Kauai is an early warning for forest birds on other islands and beyond.
They predict multiple extinctions in the coming decades if the rates of decline persist.
Co-author Lisa Crampton, a wildlife ecologist and conservation biologist, says the situation is dire but not hopeless. She says any effort to slow down climate change will help the birds.
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