Extinction Predicted Within 50 Years for Saltmarsh Sparrow

Saltmarsh sparrows (Ammodramus caudacutus) are the only species of breeding bird found nowhere else but the East Coast of the United States, where they live exclusively in coastal marshes, including several sites in Rhode Island. But the birds are predicted to go extinct within the next 50 years. That’s the unfortunate news reported by University of Connecticut researchers Chris Elphick and Chris Fields earlier this month. Their data shows that the sparrows, which Elphick describes as small songbirds similar to the sparrows that visit many bird feeders in winter, have been declining at a rate of about 9 percent annually since the late 1990s. They mainly eat insects, aquatic invertebrates and seeds.

Eco Rhode Island News, July 20, 2016