From Audubon Magazine comes a striking article about Seeking Higher Ground:
Ornithologists were shocked by the rediscovery of the [Bermuda petrels, called cahow by the locals because of their eerie cries] in the early 1950s—three centuries after it was presumed extinct—when a handful of the birds were found holding out in the wave-sculpted substrate of several tiny atolls off Bermuda’s shores. Since then intensive management to prevent common white-tailed tropicbirds and rats from killing petrels has helped the remnant cahow population grow to somewhere between 350 and 400 birds—a level not seen since the 1600s. But now this endangered seabird is facing what appears to be the greatest challenge of all: rising seas caused by global warming. “Even a few inches of sea level rise will render the present breeding islands unusable to the cahows,” says Madeiros. “These islands are very small, and very exposed.”
I’m a bio-phile. I admit it, I love the natural world, and all the life contained therein (especially birds, for some reason). So it makes me sad each time I hear a story like this. I can only hope that the tireless efforts of people like Jeremy Madeiros will continue to make a difference in this changing world of ours.