Bird population dwindles along with pinon trees on Pajarito plateau

New Mexico
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Dying pinon trees are changing the ecosystem in northern New Mexico. 

According to a study by Los Alamos National Lab, as many as 80 percent of pinon trees on Pajarito plateau have died in recent decades. 

Researchers say hotter, drier weather and the invasive bark beetle are to blame. 

The dying forest also means the end of some native bird populations in the area. 

Scientists say in 2003 there were more than 31 bird species in the area. That number has dwindled to just 17. 

They are now working with local ecologists to find potential solutions. 

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