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Dec 26, 2014

Audubon sounds alarm. Are we listening?

Young Common Loons, like the juvenile above, left high and dry when Wyoming's Bergman Reservoir was drained for irrigation, will be come an increasingly rare sight in the United States' northern lakes as the climate warms and the species' breeding grounds shift into Canada. (Photo: Michael Quinton/Minden Pictures/National Geographic Creative)
Croplands have been claiming North Dakota's prairie potholes for many years.   The state's current energy boom only adds to the pressures on habitat, especially for wild animals and birds. (Photo: Jim Brandenburg/Minden Pictures)

The photos above appear in Audubon's new study (A Storm Gathers for North American Birds) by Michelle Nijhuis, on the pending devastation that global warming will have on birds and their habitats. The photos saddened and shocked me, as did Audubon's contention that "Of the 588 species Audubon studied, 314 are likely to find themselves in dire straits by 2080".     Audubon says that only if the oil companies and every citizen begins to reduce the severity of global warming will this unprecedented threat be overcome.   As evidence of the scope of what is happening in just North Dakota, the writer states that every day companies use hydraulic fracturing to extract nearly a million barrels of oil from the Bakken formation, a layer of shale that lies two miles down.   Roughly 8,000 wells are operating already, and an additional 40,000 could be drilled and fracked in the next 20 to 30 years!   I can't recommend highly enough the reading of this Audubon document.   It is a few keystrokes away on the internet, at
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