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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 00:02 GMT
Climate fear for northern birds
Black grouse
Black grouse is amongst the threatened species
Some species of bird will disappear from northern England, unless urgent action tackles the potential impact of climate change, a new study says.

The report by university experts at Durham and Cambridge and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) predicts major wildlife changes.

It warns upland birds like black grouse, ring ouzel and twite could go.

It says other species could move into the region, but only if a suitable habitat already exists.

The Climatic Atlas of European Breeding Birds, published on Tuesday, predicts significant changes for the region's wildlife by the end of the century.

'Serious threat'

The atlas shows the potential distribution for bird species in the UK will on average shift nearly 550km north east and distribution will be reduced in size by a fifth.

The estimates used in the atlas are based on a model of climatic change which projects an increase of global average temperature of about 3C since pre-industrial times.

The RSPB regards any rise above 2C as disastrous for wildlife and mankind.

RSPB regional conservation manager, Peter Robertson, said: "This report provides further evidence that our changing climate seriously threatens our precious wildlife."

Prof Brian Huntley, of Durham University, said: "Although the details both of future climatic changes and of species' responses to these changes remain uncertain, the potential magnitude of both is clear."



SEE ALSO
Climate change worries for bird
02 Aug 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Birds hit by climate, diet shift
10 Nov 05 |  Science/Nature
Animals 'hit by global warming'
05 Oct 05 |  Science/Nature

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