Study helps pinpoint what makes species vulnerable to environmental change

Joseph Albanese for the Princeton Environmental Institute

Researchers from Princeton set out to help determine the characteristics that make certain species more sensitive to environmental pressures. They recently reported that a bird species’ ability to adapt to seasonal temperature changes may be one factor in whether it can better withstand environmental disruption. The study focused on how temperature changes and the conversion of forests to agricultural land affected 135 bird species in the Himalayas. Species living in the seasonal western Himalayas adapted to deforestation better than birds native to the tropical eastern Himalayas. Results such as these could help conservationists better determine where to focus their efforts.