British migratory bird decline linked to climate change - 15 Sep 2010  
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A study conducted by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has discovered a connection between diminishing populations of 16 United Kingdom bird species, and rainfall patterns in their migratory destinations of the African Sahel region near the Sahara Desert.

Many of the species, including the tree pipit and the turtle dove, have experienced up to 85% population declines since 1966. The researchers believe that lower rainfall patterns and reduced habitats in Africa are in turn making fewer fruits and seeds available for the birds.

British Trust Ornithology ecologist Dr. Nancy Ockendon noted that birds flying back to the UK according to a regular migratory schedule might be too weak from lack of adequate food to survive the migration, while those that delay to build up enough energy for the return flight could arrive too late to nest and create new families.

Both possibilities place the species’ survival in jeopardy. Dr. Ockendon, we thank you and your colleagues at the British Trust for Ornithology for highlighting this crucial connection between a warming climate and avian survival.

May concerned leaders and citizens alike engage in effective mitigation to maintain the healthful lives of both our human and animal co-inhabitants.During an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the plight being endured by many of our animal co-inhabitants while offering insight into how we can best ensure their survival.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Our animal friends are suffering terribly due to the effects of global warming. Many of the animals are dying or at the brink of extinction or already gone due to unbearable temperatures or they are being forced out of their habitats.

Birds of all kinds in every corner of the globe are also imperiled. According to the World Wildlife Fund, some bird populations declined by up to 90%. Some already disappeared.

With the expected 2-degree C temperature rise, bird extinction rates could reach 38% in Europe, and 72% in Northeast Australia. We have lost so many innocents already. But the animals know exactly what is happening without a word. They know that the solution lies not so much in words but in daily actions, and the essential change that will be the most restorative for our world is to be vegan.