by Sanden Totten September 17, 02:22 AM
A recent study found that half of California's bird species are threatened by climate change, and many populations are already in decline.
Scientists are looking for ways to help protect these animals, but that can be hard since many birds spend half the year traveling.
"We can't even begin to understand how the various factors come into play to cause the declines we are seeing," said Kristen Ruegg, a research biologist with UCLA.
As part of a new research effort called the UCLA Bird Genoscape Project, announced Wednesday, Ruegg and a team of researchers will create maps showing where specific sub-populations of birds go as they migrate.
They started with the Wilson's Warbler, a song bird found in various parts of North America.
They used a new method of genome analysis to identify signature traits of various sub-groups of Wilson's warblers.
They then took DNA samples of various warblers across North America and used that to trace each bird back to its home population.