New study highlights the need for countryside-based conservation
February 2013. Climate change has been the alarming reality for some time now and humans have been grappling with the threat in various ways. But the disastrous impact of impending and accelerated climate change could strike our avian friends first. A new study in UK by Durham University and BirdLife International, of which Bombay Natural History Society, (BNHS) is the India Partner, on Asian bird species reveals that many are likely to suffer under climate change and will require not just enhanced protection of important and protected sites, but also better management of the wider countryside. In some extreme cases, birds may be required to be physically moved to climatically suitable areas for survival.
Asian birds and their habitats in peril
The research, published in the journal Global Change Biology, examined the potential future distribution of species where suitable climate is likely to remain within protected areas and conservation sites, such as Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and also the likelihood of an IBA network to maintain suitable habitats outside protected areas. This study was conducted for 370 Asian bird species whose conservation is a cause of concern, across the biodiversity hotspots of eastern Himalaya and lower Mekong River basin regions.
Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and parts of India and Nepal
The countries studied include Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and parts of India and Nepal. The results show that IBAs in the Lower Mekong region were affected more negatively than those in the eastern Himalaya. Many parts of these regions will experience significant turnover of bird species, which means that they will either colonize new areas or become locally extinct. The study draws upon the work of thousands of experts and organisations, including BirdLife Partners across countries, such as BNHS from India.