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Study warns climate change and deforestation will lead to declines in global bird diversity

ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton. "It is crucial that international environmental policy be swiftly developed to focus both on climate change and on habitat loss; the two are not only intimately related, but are arguably the greatest threats not only to birds, but also to human welfare and economic well-being."

"These hundreds of bird species headed toward extinction are like thousands of dying canaries in coal mines," Dobson adds. "It's time we paid attention to them."

"Billions of philanthropic and government dollars are spent annually on clearly crucial biomedical research to avert the future impacts of diseases," says Jetz of UCSD. "Yet, the support for the necessary research and development to deal with the looming biodiversity crisis, and its multi-fold effects on human well-being, remains at abysmal levels. Drastically increased support for field surveys and impartial biodiversity research is needed to avoid future generations rightfully asking uneasy questions about the limited scope of todays science support."

The researchers say their study may also help future investigations because it introduces a novel way of combining geographic socioeconomic projections with biodiversity information.

"Our analysis is only a starting point, but with the increased quality of models and data our approach may offer a powerful, general way for a continued assessment of the future of biodiversity," says Jetz.


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Contact: Kim McDonald
kmcdonald@ucsd.edu
858-534-7572
University of California - San Diego
4-Jun-2007


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