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Global warming threatens Hawaiian songbird

Washington -- A coalition of conservation groups says the Kaua'i Creeper or Akikiki has been named one of the 10 most threatened U.S. species impacted by global warming.

The declaration came in a report issued Tuesday -- America's Hottest Species -- produced by the Endangered Species Coalition. The report says the planet's changing climate is increasing the risk of extinction for 11 U.S. species.

"Global warming is like a bulldozer shoving species, already on the brink of extinction, perilously closer to the edge of existence," said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. "Polar bears, lynx, salmon, coral and many other endangered species are already feeling the heat. The species in this report are representative of all imperiled wildlife, plants, and fish that are now facing an additional, compounding threat to their survival, and why we need to take action today to protect them."

George Wallace, the American Bird Conservancy's vice president for oceans and islands, said Hawaii is the epicenter of extinction in the America's.

"There are a number of factors that have led to the disappearance of so many of Hawaii's native birds since it was colonized, including introduced pigs, goats, cats, rats and mosquitoes. Global warming adds a huge new, incipient threat to the Akikiki and the other remaining endemic birds of the archipelago."

The full report is available at http://www.stopextinction.org/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_news_item&cause_id=1704&news_id=78688&cat_id=1012.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International.

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