Have you ever seen a bald eagle? You might be running out of time according to a seven year report released by The National Audubon Society.
Birds require specific temperatures and climates to exist and reproduce. When the climate becomes uninhabitable they migrate. If new homelands fail to offer better conditions, extinction follows. With this in mind, an increase in carbon dioxide levels has the potnetial to cause rapid shifts within bird populations. And, according to The National Audubon Society, it’s already started.
Their report showed drastic changes in migratory routes and habitats of half of the North American species. Many are moving and/or at risk of extinction. For example:
- The most prevalent and famous bird of Maryland, the Oriole, may no longer be found there by 2080.
- The range of the bald eagle may decrease by 75 percent within the next 65 years.
- Mating of the loon of Minnesota and Maine might not be possible in the lower 48 states of the U. S.
It’s not just the changes that are alarming. What surprises researchers is also the time frame in which these shifts are occurring. Under normal conditions such changes would take place gradually over thousands of years. But, according to this report, we will see changes in a matter of a few generations.
This begs the question, what can you do? We’ve written a series of articles on how your actions can reduce a warming climate. These include interactive maps that you can load on your phone, demonstrating how climate change is affecting your neighbourhood. You can also visit the Climate Change Day website, and pick one of their many suggestions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – for both a healthier plant and continual diversity of birds.