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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

October Talk

The October talk saw Roger Avery give a talk for the RSPB entitled "Birds, climate change and us". He started by discussing climate change and how it had been happening for hundreds of thousands of years and it was nothing new. He said that experts are divided as to whether it is man made. The impact is measured in changes in the cycles of sunspots. He explained how computer models are used to simulate reasons. Nature is not static and that the changes in numbers of birds, plants and animals occur over hundreds of years.

He illustrated his talk with a digital slide show. He showed photos various birds including the turtle dove and said that this birds are now rare in Devon but the reasons for this are unknown. Other garden birds are affected by the changes in gardening methods as the hobby increased in popularity since the 1950's. The increase in the use of slug pellets was a problem but as companies changed the formulation of slug pellets, the numbers of these birds are increasing again.

He said that it is not only bird numbers which are affected by climate change. The same applied to butterflies, lizards and hedgehogs. He did say that it is not all doom and gloom and that some changes are happening which will increase numbers of birds. Birds that now reside in southern Europe will eventually be seen more regularly in Britain. One of these birds will be the European Bee Eater. He finished by explaining how we can help that shifting distribution. He asked that we support organisations like the RSPB and support nature reserves which help create corridors for changing climates.

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