How Climate Change Will Affect Louisiana's Birds

Indigo Bunting. Photo: Linda Freshwaters Arndt/Alamy

Vulnerable Birds in Louisiana

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.

Louisiana

Flyway Mississippi Flyway
State Brief Download [PDF]
Website http://la.audubon.org

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 Indigo Bunting's range be affected in Louisiana?

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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana at risk.

Louisiana's Birds and Habitats

Louisiana’s Gulf Coast and Mississippi River Delta provide some of the best wetland bird habitat in the country. Cameron Prairie and Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge host tens of thousands of wintering geese and ducks, while forested wetlands throughout the state support populations of Prothonotary, Hooded, and Swainson’s warblers. Audubon’s oldest sanctuary, the Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary in southwest Louisiana, protects 26,000 acres of marshlands, ponds, beaches, and bay shores that support nearly 250 species of birds.


Climate Policy in Louisiana

Electricity Generation Breakdown
3.7%
RENEWABLE
2.8% Biomass
.9% Hydro
15.8%
NUCLEAR
77.7%
FOSSIL FUEL
60.4% Natural Gas
12.6% Coal
4.7% Petroleum
2.8%
OTHER
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)

In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes and systemic coastal erosion, Louisiana is implementing a science-driven $50 billion, 50-year vision to restore and protect its coastline and adapt to impending sea-level rise. Several cities have begun to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions, such as New Orleans and its energy-efficiency program.

Climate Threats Facing Birds and People in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of the states most vulnerable to flooding, hurricanes, and sea-level rise. The state loses around a football field of coastal land every 100 minutes, and has lost an area the size of Delaware over the last 80 years—erosion that harms communities and damages infrastructure. Hurricanes Harvey, Isaac, Gustav, Ike, Rita, and Katrina caused billions of dollars in damage and harmed the physical and mental health of life-long residents.


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.