Half of North America’s Bird Species at risk due to Climate Change
A new study from National Audubon Society, environmental organization dedicated to conservation, shows that more than 300 bird species in North America are under threat of climate change. These species are facing dramatic decline in population and if the trend continues, climate change could push the birds out of their ranges by the end of the century.
Audubon's chief scientist Gary Langham said that about half of the bird species of North America could go extinct. According to the study, out of 588 bird species, climate change could affect 314 species.
Audubon's report stated that about 200 of the threatened species could find suitable conditions somewhere else, but 126 species will have nowhere to go.
Scientists have previously found that all species will have to move to find hospitable conditions elsewhere. In some cases, the species are already moving. According to an ecologist at the University of Washington, Joshua Lawler, the recent study on bird species relied on solid data.
In the study, the National Audubon Society has not included all 800 bird species found in North America. The environmental organization only focused on those species for which data was available.
Geological Survey's North American Breeding Bird Survey and National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count combine 30 years of citizen science with projection of future climate to find where to shift suitable ranges for bird species.
According to the head of science for BirdLife International, Stuart Butchart, the results of the study are deeply worrying. He said, "They add to a body of studies elsewhere in the world showing that climate change is going to have major impacts. Species are going to have to shift their ranges, and many overall are going to suffer range contraction".
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