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Climate change threatens two-thirds of America's birds with extinction

12 October 2019

In a new study, National Audubon Society scientists mapped the ranges of 604 North American bird species and used climate models to predict how the their habitats would change.

Ana Paula Tavares, executive director for Audubon New York and Audubon Connecticut, says birds can be affected by a temperature increase of no more than about 5 degrees Fahrenheit, "which, if we don't do anything, is what we expect to have by the end of the century".

Scientists concluded that 34% of Ohio's 219 bird species are vulnerable to climate change across seasons, including species like warblers, fish crows and sparrows.

"Birds are important indicator species, because if an ecosystem is broken for birds, it is or soon will be for people too", Brooke Bateman, a senior climate scientist for the National Audubon Society, said in a statement.

"A lot of people paid attention to last month's report that North America has lost almost a third of its birds".

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Advocate for natural solutions, from increasing wetlands along coasts and rivers that absorb soaking rains to protecting forests and grasslands that are homes to birds and serve as carbon storage banks.

Audubon's report is based on the most up to date Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2014) report models for 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0 degrees C of global warming.

Plant native plants in your yards and communities to provide vital habitat for birds while improving soil health and helping mitigate the effects of flooding. And thanks to the obsessive record-keeping of devout birders, Audubon scientists were able to draw from a database of 140 million records for its study of birds in Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Last month, the journal Science published a study by a joint team of conservation biologists describing a grim picture: a steady decline of almost three billion North American birds since 1970, primarily as a result of human activities.

"Climate change is both a direct threat to birds and other wildlife but also a driver of nearly every other threat, that exacerbates their effects", he said.

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The Audubon report only looked at species for which there were good data sets, with much of the data coming from birders who record on the e-bird website managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

All 16 Arctic species would be at high risk, including iconic birds such as the snowy owl and the Arctic tern. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.

Audubon South Carolina protects birds and the places they need, right here in South Carolina.

The boreal chickadee will be extirpated from ME if global temperatures continue to rise as a result of climate change, the National Audubon Society reported Thursday.

And more alarming than the loss of songs and flashes of color at the backyard feeder is what birds like the American robin tell us about the speed of the changes.

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Climate change threatens two-thirds of America's birds with extinction