Recent headlines shocked a number of people in terms of how climate change has affected bird populations in North America. According to the Audubon Society's research, nearly two thirds (389 species) of birds are threatened with extinction if climate change continues on its current path. More sobering still, the Society's research goes on to state that we have lost 30% (3 billion birds!) of our bird population since the 1970s.
So overwhelming is this information that it can become difficult for a single individual to grasp the extent of the impact. Whether it be urbanization, drought, temperature changes, loss of habitat, fires and other hazards, birds have suffered greatly.
It's not understating the issue to say that this is a great threat to us and other plant and animal species as well. Birds are often regarded as indicator species when it comes to the health of an ecosystem. And, in addition to the immeasurable value birds add to our quality of life and connection to nature, birds provide an important piece to the overall web of the natural world.
To get a better sense for the impact in our local area, or wherever you are, you can go to the Audubon Society's website and access a great online tool to find out what the impacts to individual species are or will be. The tool allows you to enter your zip code or state and see the species identified by the Audubon Society's research that are most affected by climate change, in both winter and summer seasons.
To view more information or to access the online tool, go to https://www.audubon.org/climate/survivalbydegrees.