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.

Climate News

Warmer Weather Brings Record Sightings for This Year’s Great Backyard Bird Count
Great Backyard Bird Count

Warmer Weather Brings Record Sightings for This Year’s Great Backyard Bird Count

Data show high temperatures may have spurred unusual migration patterns for some species.

An Open Letter to Scott Pruitt, Denier of Basic Science
Climate

An Open Letter to Scott Pruitt, Denier of Basic Science

By saying human activity is not a leading cause of climate change, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency continues his campaign to undermine widely accepted climate science.

An Expert’s Take on the Past, Present, and Future of Fighting Climate Change
Climate

An Expert’s Take on the Past, Present, and Future of Fighting Climate Change

Frances Beinecke, former president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, was an early leader in the battle against global warming. Here she discusses what has been accomplished and what's left to be done.

Let’s Say It Again: Wood Pellets Are Not a Sustainable Fuel Source
Climate

Let’s Say It Again: Wood Pellets Are Not a Sustainable Fuel Source

The burning of wood pellets—a growing energy source in Europe and elsewhere—is bad for forests and climate, according to a new report.

To Turn a Schoolyard Into an Outdoor Classroom, Just Add Native Plants
Native Plants

To Turn a Schoolyard Into an Outdoor Classroom, Just Add Native Plants

With the help of Audubon Minnesota and some controlled fires, a local school recently restored an overgrown field into original prairie habitat.

Read Our Climate Change Special Issue

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