Climate change threatens half of North America's birds

Climate change threatens half of North America's birds

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"Since 1600, only about nine species of birds have gone extinct in continental North America; but we are seeing that half of North American bird species will be at risk of extinction by the end of this century," said the Chief Scientist Audubon's Dr. Gary Langham, who led the research, in the report.

Of the 588 species of birds examined in the seven-year study, 314 species are at risk; and 126 of them could suffer a severe decrease (between 50-100% of their habitat) by the year 2050.

Speaking to Efe, Langham stressed the importance of the report identifying the effects of global warming on species found in "our neighborhoods, not in a remote part of the Arctic."

Threatened species include iconic birds from the US and Canada such as the Common Loon, icon of the northern US; the Baltimore Oriole; the Brown Pelican of Louisiana; the Hermit Thrush of Vermont; or the Blue Jay of the mountains of Idaho and Montana.

And the national symbol of the United States, the Bald Eagle, could see its current rank decline by nearly 75 percent over the next 65 years.

"The study identified the climatic variables that determine where North American birds live (...) and uses the projections to find out where they might survive in the future. We will all see the effects of climate change," said Terry Root, a professor at Stanford University and Nobel Prize winning climate scientist.

"It's impossible to ignore such a serious alarm," added Root, a member of the Audubon board.

The report predicts that as wintering areas for many species in the United States expand, there will be drastic losses from summer breeding cycles that will reduce population size if global warming continues uncontrolled.

Langham and other Audubon ornithologists analyzed more than 30 years of historical North American climate data and tens of thousands of historical bird records from the North American Breeding Bird Survey in the United States.


Video: Climate Change Changing Winter Plans For Thousands of Birds (June 2022).


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