A new study claims that some sparrow species will go extinct in before this century ends as climate change continues to harm the world. Two species of sparrows, seaside( Ammospiza maritima) and saltmarsh (Ammospiza caudacuta) are part of a group of five bird which spends their entire life in coastal salt marshes. Floods and predators on the hunt destroy the nests of these birds.
It is estimated that salt marshes cover 30,000 square miles (or 45,000 square kilometers) spread around the world. Up to 33% of the total salt marsh areas can be found on North American coasts. 15 out of 25 species or subspecies which depend on tidal wetlands can be found in the US Gulf and Atlantic coasts. The rapid advancement of climate changes endangers many of the salt marsh ecosystems.
One of the primary breeding ground for the saltmarsh sparrow spans from Maine to Virginia, and it is estimated that 60,000 birds inhabit it. The rise of the sea level can affect the breeding cycle since it will ruin the habitat of the birds by flooding the nests. Another problem is presented by a significant human presence in the region.
Global warming threatens sparrow species
The researchers wanted to learn more about the populations of seaside and saltmarsh sparrows which can be encountered on the premises of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge which is located in New Jersey. The data collected during the study will be used to elaborate new management strategies which should limit the decline.
The scientist discovered that the seaside sparrows could be found in areas where the water rose below 1 foot (0.35 meters) and could handle a rise up to 2.5 feet (0.75 meters). Saltmarsh sparrows do not inhabit similar areas. By anticipating a 1 ft. Increase of the sea level the researchers concluded that the seaside sparrow population would fall by -.35 percent each year. Under the same conditions, the saltmarsh sparrows will become extinct less than 30 years. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal.