How Climate Change Will Affect Arkansas's Birds

Wood Thrush. Photo: Nate Rathbun/USFWS

Vulnerable Birds in Arkansas

Highly and moderately vulnerable birds may lose more than half of their current range—the geographic area where they live—as they are forced to search for suitable habitat and climate conditions elsewhere.

Arkansas

Flyway

State Brief

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Below, find out which of the birds that nest or spend the winter in your area are most vulnerable across their entire range. Some birds may lose range outside of your state, making the protection of their current habitat in your area even more important.

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How will the Wood Thrush's range be affected in Arkansas?

Rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns affect birds' ability to find food and reproduce, which over time impacts local populations, and ultimately continent-wide populations, too. Some species may even go extinct in your state if they cannot find the conditions they need to survive and raise their young.

Select a warming scenario to see how this species’ range will change under increased global temperatures.

Reducing warming makes many types of birds found in Arkansas less vulnerable.

In order to hold warming steady, we must act now to reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere and limit warming to 1.5 degrees. We must reduce our carbon emissions and also absorb what is produced through natural solutions like reforestation or with technology that removes carbon from the air.

Click the three different warming scenarios to explore how increased warming puts more species in Arkansas at risk.

Arkansas's Birds and Habitats

In Arkansas, the Midwest meets the South, and the state’s landscapes support a bevy of bird species. Mount Magazine State Park, which includes the state’s highest point, has played host to western birds, including Townsend’s Solitaire and Rufous-crowned Sparrows. Ouachita National Forest provides key southern pinewood habitat for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and Bachman’s Sparrows. Millwood Lake is a hotspot for waterfowl, including Black-bellied Whistling Ducks—birds of the Deep South that, like Inca Doves, Neotropic Cormorants, and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, have been expanding northward across the state in recent decades.


Climate Policy in Arkansas

Electricity Generation Breakdown
7.3%
RENEWABLE
2.4% Biomass
4.8% Hydro
.1% Solar
20.9%
NUCLEAR
71.9%
FOSSIL FUEL
28.5% Natural Gas
43.3% Coal
.1% Petroleum
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets
None
Renewable Portfolio Standard
None
Climate Alliance?
Member of US
Yes
Member of the US
Climate Alliance?
Yes

(Data: U.S. EIA)

With the help of Audubon Arkansas, the Solar Access Act of 2019 (SB145) removed regulatory barriers on the state’s solar market. The state’s energy efficiency resource standard has led to energy and cost savings for utilities and consumers.

Climate Threats Facing Birds and People in Arkansas

Arkansas faces two seemingly contradictory climate-driven threats: flooding from increased rainfall and drought. The state has already experienced more severe flooding, which in the summer of 2019 alone cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses. Droughts, which are likely to become more severe as rainfall decreases this century, threaten agricultural yields and river transportation. In the coming decades, the state could also experience reduced crop yields and greater risk of heat-related illnesses.


The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk harm people, too. Hover over or tap an area on the map to see specific threats that will affect that area as warming increases.

Birds tell us: It’s time to act. See how you can help improve the chances for three-quarters of species at risk.