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Aussie Bird Flies a Long Way

An Australian bird has flown a long way. Scientists were studying birds on the shores of western Alaska in the Arctic. They saw a bartailed godwit and examined the bird believing it to be a local inhabitant. The tag on its leg, however, showed that it had flown a very long way. Australian scientists had banded the bird earlier in Victoria. The small creature had travelled more than 8,000 miles.

Studies had shown that bartailed godwits usually spend their life in the same local area where they were born, though many presumed that they flew to the Arctic to breed. This has now been substantiated by the discovery. It is known that banded dunlin and semipalmated sandpipers fly to the Arctic from Asia and South America.

With the Arctic thawing, damage could be done to future breeding populations of birds. The hotter Arctic summer could affect the survival of the young. Migratory shorebirds are decreasing in number. This is due, it is believed, to habitat loss and global warming. More research is required in order to identify specific causes.
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Conservation