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A judge rules on a controversial citizenship question for the 2020 Census; some fishing communities expect to feel the effects of the government shutdown; and new climate concerns as Antarctic ice is melting faster than we thought.

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NWF: Climate Change Threatens North Carolina Birds

June 21, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. – Migratory birds in North Carolina are tweeting a sad song these days, according to a report released by the National Wildlife Federation.

Birds living from the state's mountains to the sea are in danger, and scientists say climate change is largely to blame.

Biologist Bob Brown says extreme weather and hotter temperatures are ruffling the feathers of birds in the state.

"Climate change is impacting the habitat of all bird species and we're the cause of that,” he says. “That's irrefutable as far as scientists are concerned."

Nationwide, in addition to the concern over the welfare of birds, their decline can also impact the economy. In 2011 more than $54 billion was spent to watch wildlife, and $4 billion was spent on birdseed alone.

In North Carolina, game birds such as duck and geese are at risk – a concern to waterfowl hunters. On the shoreline, the risk extends to several marine birds, including Red Knots.

Brown says the loss of shoreline and wetlands is directly impacting the reproduction of many species.

"Because of the loss of habitat, we lose space,” he explains. “We start crowding the birds into smaller and smaller spaces, and when that happens then, birds don't reproduce."

Longer summers and shorter winters are also impacting most of the birds studied, because of the time they have to reproduce and the amount of food available.






Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC