A new research reveals that North American bird species are under threat and could go extinct. The research study which took seven years to finish revealed that the biggest threat that these animals are facing is climate change.
According to the research study done by Audubon Society, at least 314 species are facing a dramatic decline in population especially if the temperature continues to be warm thus pushing the birds out of their traditional habitat. It also predicted that by mid-century, 126 out of the 588 birds species would lose their habitat and by the year 2080, 188 species would follow the same path.
This would mean many states would lose their “national bird” or birds that were identified to such specific states. Examples of which includes the Baltimore oriole for Maryland, brown pelican for Louisiana, common loon for Minnesota, and many others. The research also identified additional states such as Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, and Washington DC. Even the bald eagle, which is heralded as a “success story” for conservation could also suffer the same fate as the study predicts that it would lose 75% of its range by the year 2080.
There’re also some species that would entirely lose its range like the trumpeter swan. Though it may seem that everything is in decline, the research pinpointed that 274 birds can maintain or even increase their range even with the threat of climate change. Though that is the case, there’re still potential problems such as competition from other species and facing potential predators.
The findings of the research were based on more than a century of observations from birders alongside a 40-year old historical record from the US Geological Survey. The data collected was compared with 17 climate models. Gary Langham, the chief scientist and leader of the research group commented on the research stating that “the scale of disruption we’re projecting means that many familiar sounds, and many familiar birds that people may see in their backyards and on their walks, that help them define a place for them, may no longer be there.” On the other hand, David Yarnold, the chief executive of Audurn treats the research findings as a “call to action”. One of the proposed solutions of the research team is to lessen the carbon emission which causes climate change. Another one is the preservation of their current habitat and ensuring that it is still habitable in the long run.
Dr. Stuart Butchart, the head of science in BirdLife International commented on this research study stating that the findings in North America is consistent with the results gathered in different parts of the world like Europe, Africa, and Asia.
He also mentioned that the results of the study “points towards the actions that are needed to help wildlife adapt to a changing environment, including the urgent need to strengthen effective conservation of the world’s 12,000 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas: the global network of sites that are critical for the conservation of birds and other wildlife.”