The following report was in today's - Wednesday 3 December 1997 -
edition of the Electronic Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/
Birds nesting earlier as Earth warms
By Charles Clover, Environment Editor
TWENTY species of British birds are nesting an average of nine days
they were in the Seventies as a result of climate change, the Royal
Society for the
Protection of Birds claimed yesterday.
The species, listed in a report published at the climate change
conference in Kyoto,
Japan, included redshank, dipper, wren, redstart, chiff chaff, chaffinch
greenfinch. A study of frogs, toads and newts over 17 years showed that
the species were arriving at ponds to spawn had also changed.
A one degree Celsius increase in temperature - the average global rise
the middle of next century - may significantly alter the species
composition in about
half the statutory protected areas in Britain, according to the RSPB.
Those most likely to be forced out, or to become extinct, would be the
snow bunting and dotterel. The findings, presented by John Gummer, the
Environment Secretary, were the result of a seminar of wildlife experts
who met in
Boulder, Colorado, this autumn.
The RSPB claims that further evidence of global warming is likely to
supplies for seabirds such as puffins and terns, effects which are
noticed in the Pacific during this year's El Niño event. A 20-30 cm rise
in sea level,
predicted by the majority of climate scientists, would adversely affect
mudflats and salt marshes which are important for migrating wildfowl.
species which depend on isolated upland habitats, such as dotterel and
buntings, could decline or even disappear.
Barnaby Briggs of the RSPB and Birdlife International said in Kyoto:
picture of effects on wildlife makes the need for a positive outcome
from the Kyoto
conference all the more urgent."