Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Climate Change and Biodiversity – What can we learn from birds on islands?

Rose throated Parrot

Thanks to Janet Franklin for this guest post on their recent paper!  Really interesting to think back through these historical changes.

During the last Ice Age, the islands of the Bahamas were cooler, drier, and much larger than today because sea level was over 100 m lower.  The Bahamas also were much closer to the Greater Antillean islands of Cuba and Hispaniola.  Thousands of beautifully preserved bird fossils from dry and water-filled caves on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas have allowed us to reconstruct the bird community found there during the last Ice Age (10,000 or more years ago) and compare it with the birdlife on Abaco today.