The Connecticut Audubon Society has released a sharply worded report, warning that many birds in the state are suffering slow, steady population declines because of a loss of nesting areas.
The saltmarsh sparrow, in particular, is at risk from rising sea levels, which threaten coastal habitats. Scientists say the bird could be extinct in 50 years.
Audubon Society senior director of science and conservation Milan Bull says it would be the first avian extinction in the continental U.S. since 1931.
The group is urging state officials to take steps to protect endangered bird species, and recommends the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection receive sufficient funding to plan for landscapes needed to accommodate birds as sea levels rise. The group also is calling for the expansion of shrub-scrub habitat.