2014-09-08. Climate Change Will Disrupt Half of North America’s Bird Species, Study Says.

posted Sep 9, 2014, 1:45 AM by Alan Gould

For GSS Climate Change chapter 8 and Losing Biodiversity chapter 6. Excerpt: The Baltimore oriole will probably no longer live in Maryland, the common loon might leave Minnesota, and the trumpeter swan could be entirely gone. Those are some of the grim prospects outlined in a report released on Monday by the National Audubon Society, which found that climate change is likely to so alter the bird population of North America that about half of the approximately 650 species will be driven to smaller spaces or forced to find new places to live, feed and breed over the next 65 years. If they do not — and for several dozen it will be very difficult — they could become extinct. The four Audubon Society scientists who wrote the report projected in it that 21.4 percent of existing bird species studied will lose “more than half of the current climactic range by 2050 without the potential to make up losses by moving to other areas.” An additional 32 percent will be in the same predicament by 2080, they said. Among the most threatened species are the three-toed woodpecker, the northern hawk owl, the northern gannet, Baird’s sparrow, the rufous hummingbird and the trumpeter swan, the report said. They are among the 30 species that, by 2050, will no longer be able to live and breed in more than 90 percent of their current territory. ...“Common sense will tell you that with these kinds of findings, it’s hard to believe we won’t lose some species to extinction,” said David Yarnold, the president of the National Audubon Society. “How many? We honestly don’t know. We don’t know which ones are going to prove heroically resilient.” ...Drought in Southern California is blamed for a sharp drop in breeding among California raptors, perhaps because a lack of water is killing the insects and small rodents they feed on.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/us/climate-change-will-disrupt-half-of-north-americas-bird-species-study-says.html. By Felicity Barringer. The New York Times.