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

These Amazing Maps Show How Wildlife Will Migrate to Survive Climate Change
Climate

These Amazing Maps Show How Wildlife Will Migrate to Survive Climate Change

Not only do they highlight the major routes species will take to stay cool, but they are also guides for how we should approach future conservation.

Why Some Puffin Colonies Thrived and One Barely Survived This Summer
Climate

Why Some Puffin Colonies Thrived and One Barely Survived This Summer

Baby puffins in the Gulf of Maine faced drastically different fates this breeding season when warmer ocean waters caused a shortfall in fish.

The Saltmarsh Sparrow Is Creeping Dangerously Close to Extinction
Climate

The Saltmarsh Sparrow Is Creeping Dangerously Close to Extinction

The bird's survival hinges on the ocean, but rising waters and shrinking habitat are causing populations to plummet—with no clear solutions.

Climate Change Might Have Some Gulls Resorting to Cannibalism
Climate

Climate Change Might Have Some Gulls Resorting to Cannibalism

With rising sea temperatures making food scarce, Puget Sound's Glaucous-winged Gulls have turned to their own species for nourishment.

Tracking Kestrels One Feather at a Time
Climate-Threatened Birds

Tracking Kestrels One Feather at a Time

Researchers suspect that plucked DNA can provide answers to where climate-threatened American Kestrels are going.

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