Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Going, going, going...

Local Canada geese all veed up during flight practice with the young ones
Ruffed grouse, Pennsylvania’s state bird, will be nearly gone from the state by 2050 and will be gone by 2080, where it will only be found in Maine and perhaps the Adirondacks in the lower 48.  And that’s just one species, out of as many as 314 that could be threatened by continued climate change.

Such is the conclusion of a new report from Audubon about the future effects of climate change on birds in the U.S.  As many as 314 species, nearly half the species found in the U.S., are threatened. Using three decades of citizen-science observations and climate models, Audubon’s chief David Yarnold says the study is conservative in its predictions.  At http://climate.audubon.org/ you can read about which species will be affected and see the species projections by state or province.  There also you can ready how the science was conducted and learn more about what can be done. 

The report was discussed on NPR this morning at and in today’s New York Times, to name two spots.
Birders have long seen some evidence of this.  In the past 20 years I’ve seen the black-capped chickadee morph into a black-capped/Carolina chickadee hybrid and then the black-capped disappeared from Roundtop entirely, replaced by the Carolinas.  That’s just one example.  Another is the ever-growing range of the black vulture in my area, and the turkey vulture appearing ever further north.  Red-tailed hawks and Canada geese, to name two, no longer migrate the way they used to. Often then stay where they are or move late and then don’t go very far south for the winter.

1 comment:

Scott said...

It's all so distressing, especially coupled with the report that we pumped a record amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2013.