This report is a product of a one-week workshop on using Structured Decision Making to identify and prioritize conservation actions to address the threat of climate change on Hawaii‟s native forest bird community. Specifically, t his report addresses the issue of global warming ‟s likely role in increasing disease prevalence in upper elevation forests of Hawaii, negatively impacting native bird populations susceptible to the disease but currently disease - free because of the cooler temperatures at high elevations.
The Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the world’s most culturally valuable but imperiled forest birds, including brightly colored native honeycreepers, many of which are threatened or endangered. One of the major threats these birds face is avian malaria, which is spread by a species of introduced mosquito and can have death rates exceeding 90 percent. For decades, upper mountain forests have provided refuge for Hawaiian forest birds because mosquitoes (and thus the disease) could not survive the cooler temperatures. However, warming associated with climate change could change this. Scientists used climate data and an epidemiological model to evaluate the future impacts of avian malaria on Hawaiian forest birds...
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