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Apr 16, 2016 10:21 AM

Loon dies of malaria in the latest sign of climate change

The Associated Press

CONCORD — The first case of a loon dying of malaria has scientists fearing the iconic New England bird could become vulnerable to the disease that's more common in warmer climates.

The dead loon was found last summer on Umbagog Lake in Maine and New Hampshire, prompting biologists to step up their efforts to monitor the birds that have proven vulnerable in the past to development as well as lead and mercury poisoning.

The disease has been found across the south but scientists believe rising temperatures due to climate change has the parasite moving north.

The presence of avian malaria also has them fearing for other species.

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