Almost two-thirds of America’s breeding bird species are weak to extinction due to a warming climate, based on a new report.
Scientists at Audubon used 140 million observations, recorded by birders and other scientists, to pinpoint where 604 North American bird species live at present a space known as their “range.” Next, they used the latest climate models to project how every species’ range would shift as climate change and other human impacts advance throughout the continent.
Their report concludes that out of 604 species modeled, 389 are vulnerable to extinction, meaning that as soon as 2080, more than half of their present range might turn into uninhabitable, and they wouldn’t gain new ground.
The models that have been used, which are reportedly the result of five years of research, are “cutting-edge,” based on Josh Lawler, an ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who uses related models to predict how wildlife may respond to climate change; he was not involved in the Audobon study.
Audobon released a report in 2014 claiming that half of the nation’s birds are vulnerable to climate change. This new report takes each bird’s biology under consideration, unlike the old report.