Conservation

Climate Change

A Piping Plover broods a day-old chick at its nest on a restored island in the Platte River, Nebraska. Photo: Michael Forsberg

Climate change threatens the birds we see every day.

Our warming world poses profound challenges to conservation. The effects of climate change are already apparent—from habitat loss to devastating breaks in the delicate links that connect birds, migration, and food sources. 

The Threat

Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report, published in September 2014, confirmed that climate change is the single greatest threat to North American birds. Seven years in the making, the report warns that 314 North American bird species could lose more than half of their current ranges by 2080 due to rising temperatures. (For more on the methodology, and links to peer-reviewed articles published out of this research, visit the FAQ page or read the full report.)

For those of us who care deeply about birds, from the Wood Thrush in eastern forests to the Burrowing Owl in western grasslands, this is a warning call that demands urgent action.

Audubon’s Solution

The situation is indeed dire—more than half of bird species on the continent are at risk—but there are reasons for hope. By identifying which birds are most sensitive to climate change and where those changes are most likely to occur, this research provides a roadmap for future conservation and advocacy efforts.

Audubon’s Climate Initiative, the organizational response to this threat, taps into its members’ love and commitment for birds to build population resilience and demand solutions to slow the pace of warming. Audubon is encouraging its members to take steps to address the climate change threat in their backyards, in their communities, in the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) near their homes, and in the state houses.

That requires a diverse network of climate activists with a shared value—a love and appreciation of birds. Take a look at how Audubon’s network of chapters, centers, state offices, and individual activists is helping birds adapt and pushing for solutions on behalf of birds.

 

See Where the Audubon Network Is Taking Action

Browse our interactive map below showing many of the Audubon chapters, centers, state offices, and volunteers that have taken action to fight climate change—such as by building nest boxes for climate-threatened birds, meeting with elected officials, and more.

Climate News

What A Baby Puffin's Diet Tells Us About Its Future
Climate

What A Baby Puffin's Diet Tells Us About Its Future

A new study shows that climate change and commercial fisheries are affecting the fish that young puffins eat—along with their survival.

Red Knots Are Battling Climate Change—On Both Ends of the Earth
Climate

Red Knots Are Battling Climate Change—On Both Ends of the Earth

The tiny, threatened bird is an omen for how devastating ocean acidification can be.

Record Number of Countries Sign International Climate Deal
From Our Partners

Record Number of Countries Sign International Climate Deal

More than 170 nations signed the historic Paris Agreement on Friday—an important step toward putting the treaty into effect.

How a Greener Church Benefits People and the Planet
Faith & Climate

How a Greener Church Benefits People and the Planet

In Illinois, the nonprofit Faith in Place is spreading the environmental gospel to churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques.

Can Faith Motivate Environmental Action?
Faith & Climate

Can Faith Motivate Environmental Action?

Audubon staffers discuss how spiritual beliefs shape their work to fight climate change and protect birds.

Read Our Climate Change Special Issue

Audubon devoted an entire issue to the challenges birds face in a warming world. 

Featured projects

Birds & Climate Report

Birds & Climate Report

Shrinking and shifting ranges could imperil nearly half of U.S. birds within this century

Read more
Saltmarsh

Saltmarsh

Helping imperiled saltmarsh birds adapt to sea-level rise threatening coastal marshes in the Chesapeake Bay

Read more