– Prof Diana Bell, University of East Anglia

Prof Diana Bell, professor of Conservation Biology at the University of EastAnglia, said: “The tragic impact of Hurricane Dorian as it moved so slowlyacross the Abacos and Grand Bahama Islands is beginning to emerge.

“It is obviously a humanitarian disaster for people living in these northernislands and the extent is as yet unknown, but we hope that internationalmedical and infrastructure aid will arrive rapidly and generously.

“It is also highly likely to have also been an ecological disaster affectingthe already fragmented areas of Caribbean pine forest which support birds andother wildlife which are not found anywhere else on the planet.

“In 2018, UEA researchers Matthew Gardner and David Pereira undertookextensive surveys of the area and found just one Bahama nuthatch, so it seemshighly likely that this species has now been lost.

“We now have to ask whether birds such as the Bahama warbler and other nativepine forest dependent species have survived the extremely high winds, rainfalland storm surges this hurricane has caused.

“Our thoughts are with the people and biodiversity in this tragedy.”

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