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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Bad for Birds

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, September 10, 2014/Categories: wildlife conservation, birds, environment, climate change

If any evidence was further needed that climate change is a bad thing, the Audubon Society, the Smithsonian, and other organizations have released, State of the Birds, 2014 which will change that. Their report details climate impacts on birds during this century. It will be "bad for birds" of all kinds.

In their announcement, Audubon said their scientists used hundreds of thousands of citizen-science observations and sophisticated climate models to predict how birds in the U.S. and Canada will react to climate change: "it is the broadest and most detailed study of its kind, and it’s the closest thing we have to a field guide to the future of North American birds."

Some of the key findings include:

of 588 birds studied, more than half are likely to be in trouble. The models indicate 314 species will lose more than 50 percent of their current range by 2080;
many birds winter in Mexico and Latin America, so climate impacts on these birds’ winter ranges is likely to threaten even more species; animated maps can serve as guides to where a given bird may find the conditions it needs to survive in future years (2020, 2050, and 2080), ie. a species “climatic range".

    Animated Map of Seasonal Ranges for Common Loon by Year  (credit: Audubon Society )

    Commenting on the loon, the famous bird found of the northern Great Lakes, the report notes:

    "by 2080, the call of the loon may disappear from Minnesota in the summer as its breeding range moves north. Its winter range is even more heavily affected, declining 62 percent by 2050."

    A video provides more details on the findings:

    2014 is the hundredth year anniversary of the Passenger Pigeon's extinction. The birds once numbered in the billions and their extinction helped initiate concern about wildlife conservation. The report concludes this is the best strategy to prevent a bird moving from abundant to extinct.

    "The strongest finding in The State of the Birds 2014 is simple: conservation works!"


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