A seven-year-long study has made a shocking exposure that the changing climate is threatening more than half the bird species in the US, especially the North America.
The researchers say a variety of birds in the US is on life threat and facing extinction as they are losing their natural habitat and at the same time not finding an ideal destination to migrate.
Ken Rosenberg, director of conservation science in the Lab of Ornithology at the Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, said, “The most immediate threats are habitat loss. That is ongoing. Climate change might make it worse, but we can’t let it take our eye off the ball of protecting habitat now.”
The researchers said that the years of conservation efforts have successfully helped in reversing or controlling the decline of a variety of bird species across the US but the ongoing climatic depletion and global warming have adversely impacted the region’s natural habitat, leading to the serious erosion of all the environmental efforts.
The glaring findings have been published in the 2014 State of the Birds Report, released on Tuesday.
A 23-member conglomerate, constituting of US and Canadian environmental groups, wildlife agencies, and universities, including Cornell, prepared the report.
In the report card, they have revealed about the condition and status of birds across the ecosystem, ranging from forests to deserts and shorelines.
This is the fifth report card on birds issued since 2009. The complete report consists of surveys that were conducted by citizen scientists via various environmental projects like the US-Canadian-Mexican North American Breeding Bird Survey, the Christmas Bird Count of the National Audubon Society and many others.
For preparing the report, the experts’ team looked at climatic changes range in 2020, 2050, and 2080 under low, medium, and high emissions scenarios.
The consortium has prepared a watch list of about 230 species out of the 800 bird species which are facing the most vulnerability.
Hawaii is a big concern for the environmentalists as 23 of its 33 native species are on the Endangered Species List.
The researchers carried a study on 588 species and found only 274 climate-stable, the report said. The rest 314 species were found losing over half their current range in all three modeled scenarios of emissions.
The team labeled 126 of the 314 species as climate-endangered saying the range loss among these species comes with no compensating expansion elsewhere due to which they have no option left. On the other hand, the rest 188 of the 314 species were termed as merely climate-threatened as these birds could shift to new areas while searching for their habitat.
Among the most threatened bird species by the climate change includes Baird’s sparrow, hawk owl, three-toed woodpecker, the northern gannet, the rufous hummingbird and the trumpeter swan.
The study’s findings, sponsored by the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service and issued by the National Audubon Society, will be published in the journal Conservation Biology.