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Sierra Nevada birds move in response to warmer, wetter climate

The findings, to be published the week of Sept. 14 in an online early edition of the journal , reveal that 48 out of 53 bird species studied in California's Sierra Nevada mountains have adjusted to climate change over the last century by moving to sites with the temperature and precipitation conditions they favored.
The few species, including the Anna's Hummingbird and Western Scrub-Jay, that did not pack up and leave when the climate changed were generally better able to exploit human-altered habitats, such as urban or suburban areas, the researchers said.
"In order to conserve biodiversity in the face of future climate change, we need to know how a species actually responds to a warming climate," said study lead author Morgan Tingley, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management and at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley. "Comparing past and present ranges of species that experienced climate change is one of the best ways to gain this knowledge. Understanding how species will respond to climate change allows us to take steps now to restore key habitats and create movement corridors that will help them respond to the changes we have coming."

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