Some bird species once commonly found in Kentucky and surrounding states are moving farther north each year, according to the Audubon Society. Take the Red-breasted Merganser, for example. This fish-eating duck, the society says, has moved its range northward over the past 40 years more than 300 miles. They’re apparently more abundant in Minnesota now than they once were here. The reason? Climate change.
Throughout Kentucky, human traffic and pollution have damaged caves and sinkholes. And that in turn has polluted the groundwater many end up drinking. Although some of these sensitive ecosystems are making a come-back, as WFPL’s Kristin Espeland reports, the caves remain vulnerable.
Researchers from The Nature Conservancy and the Cary Institute for Ecosystem studies found that many previous studies examined the effects of a single pollutant on a certain aspect of an ecosystem. But lead author Gary Lovett says they don’t show the big picture.