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    Populations around San Francisco Bay appear to have stabilized

    NewsBird NewsWednesday 19 October 2011
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    US - San Francisco
    The bird populations around San Francisco Bay appear to have stabilized and life for many waterfowl is actually improving, but the avian residents of California's dry grasslands are going through hard times, according to the Bay Area's first ever State of the Birds report, released yesterday.
     
    The study, by PRBO Conservation Science and San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, claims many bird species have benefited from the restoration of wetlands, shoreline and coastal areas, as well as from other conservation activities. The birds that are suffering the most are the ones that live in areas where there has been widespread development and habitat loss, according to the report.
     
    The study analyzed bird populations in subtidal or submerged habitats, tidal flatlands, marshes, oak woodlands and coastal scrub. The researchers used data compiled over the years by, among others, the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Audubon Canyon Ranch, the California Coastal Conservancy, U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    It found that birds that hang out along streams and creeks are doing well. Two common species - the least sandpiper and Willet - have increased significantly.

    The biggest declines were among birds that inhabit grassland and coastal scrub, many thousands of acres of which have been plowed and paved over for development or drastically altered over the years. Invasive species and the suppression of the grass fires that once regenerated California grasslands may also be playing a part, according to the report.

    Source: SF Gate

     

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