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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 00:39 GMT
Extinction threat to Scots bird
Female Scottish crossbill (Pic: RSPB Images)
The Scottish crossbill is found only in the Highlands
The Scottish crossbill, the UK's only endemic bird which is native to the Highlands of Scotland, faces extinction, according to a new report.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds warns that unless action is taken to halt a rise in global temperatures, the species is under severe threat.

The bird, which lives only in Scots pine forests, is already on the conservation body's endangered list.

Other Scottish species, such as the capercaillie, could also suffer.

The Climatic Atlas of European Breeding Birds - published by the RSBP - shows that three quarters of all of Europe's nesting bird species are likely to suffer declines in range.

This study helps us to appreciate the magnitude and scope of possible impacts and to identify species at most risk
Professor Rhys Green
RSPB Scientist

The results of the study have hastened calls by the RSPB for urgent action to cut greenhouse gases.

Professor Rhys Green, an RSPB scientist and one of the authors, said: "Climatic change and wildlife's responses to it are difficult to forecast with any precision, but this study helps us to appreciate the magnitude and scope of possible impacts and to identify species at most risk and those in need of urgent help and protection."

Red and black grouse, ptarmigan and snow bunting are other birds likely to be affected in Scotland. The birds could be left with few areas of suitable climate and populations could drop.

Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB's conservation director, said: "We must heed the wake-up call provided by this atlas and act immediately to curb climate change."

He claimed that some investment should also be made to help wildlife adapt to an "inevitable" level of climate change.



SEE ALSO
Corncrake recovery 'under threat'
05 Nov 07 |  Scotland
Rare bird population 'improving'
14 May 07 |  North East/N Isles
'Accent' confirms unique species
15 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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