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In Western bluebird as well as human families, accumulated wealth encourages stability

sudden oak death, food resources for birds are taking a big hit.

"This close association with mistletoe implies that the declines of Western bluebirds in California might be greatly exacerbated by conversion of the oak woodlands to agriculture, particularly for vineyard development," she said. "The bluebirds are a signature species, but this is probably affecting other species as well. I think they should put vineyards in previously cleared fields, without cutting old-growth oaks."

Dickinson added, "We have learned much at Hastings about the cascading effects of removal of habitat on the social lives and winter survival of native birds, from Western bluebirds to acorn woodpeckers. Our work suggests that the biodiversity of central coastal California will be determined largely by how we treat the old-growth oak forests of California in the next decade."


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Contact: Robert Sanders
rsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley
24-Oct-2005


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