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

Golden eagles are among the 389 types of bird that may not be able to survive in North America the report says

The ruffed grouse is one of 106 breeding bird species in ME that will be threatened if global temperatures rise - as projected at current levels - as much as 3 degrees Celsius by 2100, according to a report by the National Audubon Society. Audubon scientists studied more than 600 North American bird species using 140 million bird records, including observational data from bird lovers and field biologists throughout the country.

Bird populations are widely considered to be an indicator of environmental health by scientists.

Though reducing emissions from vehicles and power plants is a major goal outlined in the report, Wells said conserving land also is key, not only to maintain more bird habitat but also to provide trees and plants that can absorb carbon and help mitigate greenhouse gases.

"Audubon has a two pronged approach to taking on this issue", Urso says.

The full report showed that 63 percent of 604 species in North America would become vulnerable under a temperature rise of 3 degrees Celsius, compared to 54 percent if temperatures rise 2 degrees and 47 percent they go up 1.5 degrees.

But if the expected rise in temperatures of 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 F) by 2080 is slowed to 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 F), almost 40 per cent of those species would no longer be considered vulnerable, researchers said.

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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. "When I was a child, my grandmother introduced me to the common loons that lived on the lake at my grandparent's home in northern Wisconsin".

The models that were used, which are reportedly the culmination of five years of research, are "cutting-edge", according to Josh Lawler, an ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who uses similar models to predict how wildlife might respond to climate change; he was not involved in the Audobon study. In South Carolina, we represent more than 20,000 Audubon members and supporters, nine Audubon chapters and bird club partners, two Audubon centers and 22,000 acres of land that we own and manage. And along with them, so may we.

People can type in their zip codes to Audubon's Birds and Climate Visualizer to see how climate change will impact their specific community and local birds. The Audubon report looks ahead to describe how climate change will further exacerbate the challenges birds are already facing from human activity. Because of climate change, Bonner said false springs are also a big problem for the commonwealth's avian residents, meaning when it gets warm in early spring and plants start to bloom, and then frost sets in.

Renee Stone, vice president of climate for the National Audubon Society, called on elected officials to treat climate change as a priority going forward.

Because birds can migrate and disperse more easily than other species, they are often better able to adapt than other animals.

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