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Official: Birds Along Missouri River Could Change

April 11, 2014, 10:06 AM

Official: Birds Along Missouri River Could Change
VERMILLION, SD -

A biology researcher at the University of South Dakota says life will likely be changing for birds along the Missouri River.

Chris Merkord presented his research Thursday that found the changing nature of the cottonwood forests along the river in South Dakota will impact what type of birds can live there.

The cottonwood forests along the river are not growing back. Merkord says it's because of the lack of sandbars that foster forest growth. Cottonwoods along the river grow best in bare, moist sediment areas but those opportunities are limited.

Merkord says species like ovenbird and hairy woodpeckers could see their populations decrease up to 40 percent over the next 100 years.

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