A new research report from Audobon California says “Climate change will prompt significant declines in up to a third of California bird species.”
The report warns that up to 110 of California’s 310 native bird species could face significant population reduction over the next several decades as part of massive range shifts to all of the state’s bird species.
It might not be too late to reverse this trend, however. According to the organization:
“Models produced by Audubon California’s science team indicate that the magnitude of losses in California depends in large part to the steps we take now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide a roadmap for ensuring that the conservation investments we make today have maximum value in an environment that is seeing major shifts due to climate change.”
Species at risk for endangerment include the California Gnatcatcher and the Chestnut-backed Chickadee, both of which may be reduced by more than half. In addition, the Yellow-billed Magpie could lose as much as 75 percent of its population.
In addition, an article published in the LA Times notes that “several tundra species are endangered by their shifts: The snowy owl and the American golden-plover have moved about as far north as they can. And coastal seabirds such as Kittlitz's murrelet and the ashy storm petrel would be severely threatened by rising sea levels.”
“With all of these ranges shifting, providing a hospitable environment for these birds becomes a important consideration,” said Graham Chisholm, director of conservation for Audubon California, in a statement. “This is going to be invaluable information for any land manager – public, private or non-profit – looking to unlock any habitat’s greatest conservation value.”
The report is available at http://ca.audubon.org/.
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