Monday, April 12, 2010

Fight Climate Change with Bats, Birds and Lizards

SHOOT: One of the biggest threats of climate change is insect plagues and pests, and associated diseases. Those creatures that control the insects therefore need special protection, according to this article.
clipped from

Birds, bats and lizards may play an important role in Earth’s climate by protecting plants from insects that forage on foliage. A new study suggests that preserving these animals could be a low-tech way to fight climate change.

“The presence, abundance and diversity of birds, bats and lizards, the top predators in the insect world, has impacts on the growth of plants,” said ecologist Daniel Gruner of the University of Maryland, co-author of the paper published April 5 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “If you don’t have plants, you don’t have organisms that are recapturing carbon.”

The presence of insect-eating animals has a positive effect on the growth of plants.
Things like habitat loss, disease and climate change are affecting the future of these insectivore species. Some of them are thought of as vermin and are killed off by humans. Preserving these creatures will be an important part of keeping ecosystems in check, Gruner said.
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