Greater Yellowlegs. Photo: David Alan Harvey/National Geographic Creative
The effects of climate change are already being seen, and they pose profound challenges to conservation. How our nation and other nations respond to the unfolding impacts of temperature rise coupled with our boundless appetite for energy will shape the legacy we leave for future generations.
This unprecedented threat is already disrupting the natural balance and cycles that have sustained birds and other wildlife for millennia. Its potential impacts loom, from habitat loss to devastating breaks in the delicate links that connect birds, migration, and food sources. Audubon’s research has already revealed a disturbing trend among wintering birds, many of which are shifting their ranges north in response to rising temperatures. While some lucky species will discover suitable habitat in their new locations, others will find that the habitat and food sources they depend on have disappeared, leaving them no place to go.
Audubon is focused on four key strategies to reduce and mitigate the impacts of climate change and foster a clean energy future.
Traditional Energy: The location of transmission lines and drill rigs matters to birds and other wildlife. Audubon will build on its leading-edge science, which has steered 15 million acres of western oil and gas wells and two new eastern transmission lines away from critical bird habitat.
Green Energy: Alternative sources, like wind and solar, will help meet growing demands for energy with less environmental impact. Audubon can ensure that we get green energy right, by locating wind farms in places with a substantial human footprint, where they will have less impact on birds and wildlife.
Emissions Reduction: Sound public policy is fundamental; that’s why we mobilize our network in the high-stakes fight on behalf of much-needed legislation to reduce emissions.
Adaptive Management: Innovative modeling using GPS information and data from our Christmas Bird Count along with other studies is already being used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to identify specific bird habitats and species most at risk from climate change. By understanding potential impacts before they occur, Audubon can provide proactive solutions.