Friday, July 27, 2012
Will Climate Change Trip Up Punctual Songbirds?
Wood Thrush image courtesy of USFWS
"The good news, Dr. Stutchbury said, is that the timing of migration of many bird species appears to be inheritable, meaning that the offspring of wood thrushes that leave Central America early will also leave early. There is therefore the possibility that the species as a whole will evolve to embrace earlier spring migration times. The bad news is that this sort of adaptation takes a long time and might well be outpaced by climate change. To make matters worse, the wood thrush population has already declined by 50 percent since the 1960’s. The decline is attributed in large part to habitat destruction at their wintering grounds: Nicaragua and Honduras have lost about 30 percent of their forest cover in the last 22 years."
Link: Full article from the New York Times